A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is changing the popular notion that peanut products should be avoided during early childhood due to the risk of food allergies. Approximately 2 percent of U.S. children are affected by peanut allergies. In some cases, these allergies are severe enough to be considered life-threatening. The new study recommends exposure to peanut-containing products during infancy according to the following criteria. Updated Guidelines for Treating Peanut Allergies in Children.
Children with no personal or family history of peanut or other food allergies and who do not have eczema or asthma can be introduced to peanut-containing foods at any age.
This group includes children with mild to moderate eczema. These children can be given peanut-containing foods when they are 6 months old.
Children with asthma, egg allergies, or a family history of peanut allergies are the most likely to be allergic to peanuts. Parents can try to introduce these children to peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months of age while monitoring them closely for signs of an allergic reaction, including difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat. Another option is to take the child to an allergist for a skin prick or blood test to check for peanut sensitivity.
The study, which followed more than 600 children, found that only 1 percent of children who were introduced to peanut-containing foods during infancy developed an allergic reaction compared to 18 percent of those who abstained from peanuts until the age of 5.
Whether you suffer from food, skin, or nasal allergies, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Allen can provide you with a personalized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.