Peanut allergies are the most common food allergy in children, impacting nearly 2% of the pediatric population in the United States. On a happier note, an allergy to peanuts is not lifelong, unless it is tree nuts, fish and shellfish, which are tougher to outgrow, and some children will outgrow it over time.
When a person with a peanut allergy is exposed to a peanut, proteins in the body will trigger the person’s immune defenses, leading to reaction symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Thankfully, Bard & Didriksen Pediatrics is on your team as we can help you and your family create a plan to expose your baby to peanuts early in life to help prevent peanut related allergies.
How can you help prevent allergic reactions?
It has been discovered that early introduction of peanut containing foods can reduce the risk of a child developing a peanut allergy by up to 86%. So, we recommend introducing foods containing peanuts as soon as your baby has started eating solid food. If your child falls into the low-allergy-risk category (meaning they have no other food allergies or Eczema), you can give them foods containing peanuts as often as you like. Some ideas to try:
- Thin peanut butter with warm water and add to breast milk or formula
- You can also mix thinned peanut butter in with infant cereals or purées
- Give your baby teething food containing peanuts (peanut puffs)
- Try homemade peanut butter teething biscuits
If your child falls into the high or moderate risk categories, if they have Eczema or other food allergies, discuss your options for integrating peanuts into their diet with your pediatrician.
Easy EpiPen use for emergencies
At Bard and Didriksen Pediatrics we know how scary allergic reactions can be. We’re happy to discuss your child’s peanut-related allergies and help you find a plan of prevention and maintenance to give your family peace of mind. Our doctors can prescribe an easy-to-use EpiPen in case of peanut exposure and will spend time teaching your family how to use it correctly. We even have some with electronic voices to walk you through the process of dispensing the drug in an emergency.
If you are wondering whether or not your child has a peanut allergy, or for more information regarding peanut allergy awareness, please give us a call. We’re here to offer support and the proper diagnosis with your child’s peanut-related allergies to develop treatment plans or to get them on the road to a peanut-allergy-free lifestyle.