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1 in 50 school age children are affected by peanut allergies - that’s 3% of the population.
The topic of peanut allergies in children has been much discussed recently, owing to many new studies revealing more insight and developments. The study we’re looking at today is very interesting, as it overturns previously held assumptions that could positively impact future children.
This study focused on the introduction of peanuts in high risk infants at a young age, compared to earlier studies that introduced it to older children. High risk children are those who are at risk for severe eczema or those who have an egg allergy. Recent practices have been to delay peanut introduction in high-risk children in order to prevent sensitization, making this study quite pivotal.
The study showed emerging evidence supporting early rather than delayed peanut introduction in children aged 4 to 11 months. Children in this consumption group showed a risk reduction of 81% and an absolute risk reduction of 14%, compared to the group that had avoided peanut introduction until age 5. A total of 17.2% of those in the avoidance group compared with 3.2% in the early consumption group developed challenging food allergy by age 5.
This report shows us that introducing peanuts early on is both safe and effective in high risk infants in reducing their risk of developing peanut allergies later on. Moreover, this dispels the belief that introducing allergenic foods early on makes eczema worse! I would highly recommend consulting a doctor - preferably an allergist - on the matter before you implement this with your child.