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Posted on: January 03, 2018

New parents face many life challenges when they have a child. Diaper changes, bathing and feeding represent a small portion of these challenges – with a lot of advice and assistance from friends and family, of course.

One important thing new parents need to know is that the guidelines for peanut allergies changed in early 2017. What does this mean for you, and more importantly, your child?

New Recommendations for Peanut Allergies

Recent changes to National Institute of Health guidelines provide customized advice to infants depending on the risk levels for peanut allergy. All solids should be avoided until children are developmentally ready, typically at 4 to 6 months of age. Age appropriate peanut products include peanut powder mixed in baby foods and watered down peanut butter. Thick peanut butter and peanuts are to be avoided as they are choking hazards.

  1. Babies with severe or persistent eczema or those with egg allergy are considered at higher risk for peanut allergy. Parents of these infants should discuss with their medical provider when and where peanuts should be introduced. Allergy testing can be helpful to guide medical advice.
  2. Babies at moderate-risk have milder eczema which is controlled with over the counter creams. These infants can begin peanut-based food at home at around 4 to 6 months.
  3. Most babies are low-risk. It is okay to introduce them to peanut-based foods with other solid foods at around 4 to 6 months of age.

Why is This Latest Food Allergy Information Important?

In September, Anthony Fauci , the director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, commented on the new guidelines:

“It’s an important step forward. When you do desensitize them from an early age, you have a very positive effect.”

Today, nearly two percent of children have peanut allergies – twice the percentage found in 1997. With peanut allergies on the rise, the traditional advice to hold off feeding kids peanuts until they are three is thought to be incorrect. In fact, scientists fear following this advice may cause more children to be allergic to peanuts than if peanut-based foods were introduced earlier in life.

Dr. Matthew Greenhawt of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a member of the NIH-appointed panel that wrote the guidelines said:

“We’re on the cusp of hopefully being able to prevent a large number of cases of peanut allergy.”

Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center is here to help you navigate these changes. Schedule an appointment now to discuss the best recommendations for your child.

Founded in 1952, Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center has become largest asthma and allergy medical practice in the metro-Charlotte area. We have multiple offices throughout the Charlotte area, and all of our physicians are board certified in allergy and immunology. Specialty areas include food allergy, drug allergy, hay fever and other pollen, mold or dust mite related allergies, venom allergy, and asthma. Call us at 704-372-7900 for an appointment or use our online inquiry form.