Peanut Allergy: What Parents Need to Know

An allergy to peanuts—like other food allergies—usually develops early. Having severe eczema, an egg allergy, or both boosts a baby’s risk.

If your baby is at risk, feeding him or her peanut-containing foods regularly could avoid the allergy, guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases state. In fact, regularly feeding peanuts to children at risk can cut their chance of developing the allergy by 81 percent, one study found. Children that do have an increased chance of developing a peanut allergy may be fed peanut-containing foods as young as 4 to 6 months of age. If your child is at risk, talk with your doctor.

In addition, talk with your doctor before giving peanuts to your child if he or she has an older sibling or caregiver with a peanut allergy. If your child is not at an increased risk of developing a peanut allergy, you can introduce them to peanut-containing foods freely as you introduce other solid foods.

If your child is allergic to peanuts, he or she should avoid all peanut products.

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