NEW APPROACH TO PREVENT PEANUT ALLERGY IN CHILDREN!
We are experiencing an epidemic of children with peanut allergy, and according to recent studies the incidence of peanut allergy has quadrupled in the past 13 years!
Interestingly, this increased incidence is not seen in all countries. One observation was that countries that encouraged infants to eat peanut products in infancy noted that the incidence of peanut allergy was considerably less than in countries that like the U.S. that advised holding off on exposing at risk children to peanuts and tree nuts until they were at least 3 years old.
That observation led British researchers to conduct a trial that involved over 500 infants that were considered to be at high risk of developing peanut allergy. Half were given standard advice to avoid peanut exposure until at least age 3, and the other half, after allergy evaluation by skin testing and oral challenge to insure safety, were instructed to give a certain amount of peanut product weekly. Then at age 5 years, the children were evaluated for peanut allergy. The amazing result - there was a ten fold reduction of peanut allergy in the group that had continuous exposure.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other academic groups, is now changing their recommendations for at risk children. After Allergy evaluation to insure safety, (skin testing and peanut exposure under medical observation), peanut product should be given early in life to PREVENT PEANUT ALLERGY.
At risk children are considered those with significant eczema, egg allergy, or a positive family history of peanut allergy.