Firstborn children more likely to suffer allergies

Eldest children are more prone to allergies than their younger siblings as a mum's womb develops a stronger immune system with each child


Mums’ firstborn children are more likely to fall ill and suffer from colds and allergies than their younger brothers or sisters, according to a Japanese survey. This is because a mum’s womb builds up a stronger immune system every time she has a baby.


Parents of 13,000 school children aged 7-15 were quizzed about their children’s health and allergies. Their answers were then compared to the order in which the children were born.

Of the firstborn children, 4% had rhinitis, conjunctivitis and food allergies compared with 3.5% of second-born and just 2.6% of third-born children.

“It has been established that individuals with increased birth order have smaller risk of allergy,” said Dr Takeshi Kusunoki, who led the survey.


Do the findings ring true for your family?


Please read our Chat guidelines.