How To Avoid Peanut Allergy: Expose Kids While They Are Young

There is one person being rushed to the emergency room every three minutes in the U.S. due to a food allergy reaction. Estimates show that 32 million Americans currently have food allergies.

The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) said that among those allergic to certain foods are 5.6 million children under age 18. That translates to one in every 13 children in the country.

Food allergy not only affects the diet of children but how their body fights some disease. They are two to four times more likely to develop other conditions, such as asthma and eczema.

To date, people have been allergic to more than 170 foods. Among the major allergens are fish, crustacean shellfish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, soy and peanuts.

These foods have been linked to most cases of serious food allergy reactions in the U.S. FARE said 200,000 Americans, young and adult, seek medical treatment for allergic reactions triggered by food every year. 

But there are ways to prevent some food allergies. A new report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggests that parents can help their kids avoid peanut allergy by exposing them early to the food. 

Authors said those who consume peanut protein regularly early in childhood may have a lower risk of peanut allergy. Parents can feed kids with either peanut butter or powdered puff. 

These foods are safe even for babies between four and six months. The report recommends giving 8 grams of peanut protein or one heaped teaspoon of peanut butter to children at least twice a week. 

“To prevent the development of peanut allergy, it is sensible to introduce infant-safe peanut protein (i.e., paste, butter, powdered puff) as a first food,” the report states.  

However, it is important to consider certain conditions before introducing babies to peanuts. Babies diagnosed with severe eczema have higher chances of developing peanut allergy.

Parents should first consult a specialist to check the baby’s condition before peanut introduction. The same approach is needed for babies with egg allergy. 

But those with mild eczema are encouraged to consume peanut protein at home to prevent the allergy. 

Peanut The Food Allergy Research & Education estimates there is one person being rushed to the emergency room every three minutes in the U.S. due to a food allergy reaction. Pixabay