The National Institutes of Health has good news for parents who worry about introducing their children to peanut products too soon and who want to know how to prevent allergies. New research suggests that children can safely consume peanuts and peanut products at earlier ages than previously believed without fear of developing a peanut allergy. Read on to find out about the new guidelines that the doctors at Woodburn Pediatrics will be following and recommending to all patients.

New research from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that introducing peanut-containing foods during infancy (4-11 months of age) as a method of peanut allergy prevention is safe, and will not adversely affect how long a child breastfeeds or affect the child’s growth and nutritional consumption. In fact, research showed that introducing peanut products to an infant’s diet led to an 81% decrease in the development of a peanut allergy, when the infant was initially deemed at high risk for the allergy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that parents exercise caution when introducing peanuts and peanut products to children who already have existing food allergies, such as dairy, soy, and egg. Additionally, if your child has uncontrolled eczema, you should speak with your child’s pediatrician to ensure you are prepared for an allergic reaction if one should arise. Allergy symptoms include hives, an itchy, red, spotty rash that covers the entire body; wheezing or coughing; trouble breathing; and nausea or vomiting. If your child has two or more symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Parents can rest assured in the knowledge that peanut consumption in early life does not negatively affect a child’s growth and nutrition, and can be safe. If you have questions about your child’s health needs or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic.