October 6, 2017 – Who Needs Peanut?
Anchor lead: With all the peanut allergy around, what should parents do? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Peanut allergy is a frightening thing, with seemingly frequent reports of sudden death among children following peanut ingestion, and new products coming an the market to help parents stave off peanut allergy in their kids. Corrine Keet, an allergist at Johns Hopkins, says feeding peanut to infants doesn't require specialized products.
Keet: Right now the evidence we have is strongest for infants who are at high risk because they have severe eczema or egg allergy and the guidelines recommend that infants who have severe eczema or egg allergy introduce peanut as easy as four to six months. Those who have moderate or mild eczema around six months or so, and for the rest of the population we think it probably does help prevent peanut allergy and so the current guidelines are to introduce peanut in developmentally and culturally appropriate ways. :27
Keet says that allergies to peanuts do seem to be increasing, so adopting the early feeding strategy is something parents should discuss with their pediatrician. Peanut is a good protein source that children seem to like. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.