A peanut allergy is one of the most known food allergies and is responsible for the most deaths caused by an allergen. Because of the high amount of those affected, doctors are trying to find a way to prevent peanut allergies in children.
More than fifty million people in the United States are affected with a food allergy, and doctors want to reduce that number as much as possible. They decided to start with the peanut allergy due to it being so common among children. Doctors have found that if a child is introduced to peanut containing foods around the age of four to seven months, there is a chance that they can prevent a peanut allergy from developing.
Because a serious allergy to peanuts can lead to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, or sometimes even death, doctors want to find a way to prevent a serious allergy. Parents heard about the progress doctors were making and wanted to learn how they could prevent a peanut allergy in their own children.The Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that he and many other professional societies realized that they needed to get together and make guidelines, or an outline, of what to do to start in the process that may prevent allergies. The many societies that attended the conference wrote the “Addenum Guidelines for Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States” and was made to supplement the 2010 Guidelines for the the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States.
These new guidelines set out what parents should do if their child is at a high risk, low risk, or no risk for developing a allergy to peanuts. If a child is highly likely of developing the allergy, parents should take them to an allergy specialist to have a skin prick test or a blood test. One is usually likely to have the allergy is they have severe asthma, an egg allergy, or both. If the child is not allergic, the parent should introduce peanut containing foods around the age of five months, but if they are they should not. The next category is children who have mild to severe eczema. Children with eczema are less likely to have the allergy and should be introduced to foods with peanuts around six months of age. The third and final category is children with no other food allergies and no eczema. These children can be introduced to food with peanuts anytime between the age of four to seven months.
Although this process is simple, it is a way to hopefully prevent those affected by a peanut allergy in the United States.