New Guidelines on Peanut Allergies: What All Parents Need to Know
Peanut allergies are on the on the rise. And while no one is quite sure why, everyone knows it's a serious issue. As doctors try to get to the root of the problem and figure out the best way to keep kids from developing an allergy, plus help keep those who are allergic safe, parents have to constantly keep up with new research and new recommendations. Dr. Purvi Parikh, an adult and pediatric allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network, shares what parents need to know about the latest research and guidelines on peanut allergies.
While doctors used to recommend waiting until after age three to introduce peanuts, the newest guidelines from the National Institutes of Health recommend peanut introduction much earlier, depending on how high risk these patients are. These recommendations are based on the LEAP study.
1) Children with no eczema or egg allergy should have peanuts freely introduced into their diet with no restrictions once solid food is started.
2) High-risk infants with egg allergy, severe eczema, or both should introduce peanut at 4-6 months, only AFTER consulting with a physician who may decide to perform skin or blood testing for peanut allergies.
3)Infants with mild or moderate eczema can introduce peanuts into their diet at 6 months of age to reduce risk of a peanut allergy developing later.
Another new study that Dr. Parikh thinks looks promising to help kids with peanut allergies is by a company called Aimmune.
This study is looking at a way to use peanut oral immunotherapy to reduce the severity of peanut allergies. Aimmune is seeking FDA approval for this treatment. Parents of children with peanut allergies should keep an eye out for this new treatment. Aimmune‘s treatment is not a cure, but it is a safety measure so that if a child accidentally comes in contact with peanut their reaction won’t be as severe.
Both the LEAP and Aimmune studies will have a major impact on those with allergies and will help lower the incidence of peanut allergy with early introduction as well as lower the severity of reactions for those who are allergic to peanuts.
If your child is eating peanuts already, don't change a thing. It’s best to continue peanuts in their diet so they do not lose their tolerance.