Practically everything we knew about preventing peanut allergies in our children is undergoing a complete 180.
There’s new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
They say we should actually give peanuts to babies early on, instead of wait.
“I think I have to admit that before I had a child with a peanut allergy, I kind of thought parents were overreacting,” said Kimberly Allen, whose son has a peanut allergy.
It’s no overreaction – peanut allergies can be fatal, and they’re on the rise.
Allen’s son’s allergy is severe.
“He had one bite of peanut butter on celery and he told the counselor there that he was not feeling well. And within 20 minutes, he was losing consciousness,” she said.
Allen says if she could go back in time, she’d be willing to try new preventative measures doctors are recommending.
“It turns out that we did it totally backwards. The study shows that if you give peanuts to children between the ages of four to eleven months of age, you will decrease the likelihood of developing an allergy to peanut,” said Dr. Paul Shapero, allergist in Bangor.
Most kids should get a taste of peanuts by the time they’re six months old, But if your child is at high risk, get a skin test from your allergist first. And if it’s positive, you may want to do an introduction to peanuts in your specialist’s office.
TV5’s Brenna Kelly took an allergy test with Dr. Shapero.
Dr. Shapero says the test is only 75% accurate, which is why introducing your child to peanuts is the only way to know if they’re truly allergic.
Now more doctors may be living by the old Benjamin Franklin saying: “an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.”