Dr. Meaghan Misiasz is an Allergist and Immunologist at UCHealth Memorial and is very excited about the new guidelines regarding when to introduce peanut to infants in an effort to reduce the chance of them developing a severe peanut allergy. The new guidelines are nearly a complete reversal of the old guidelines.
Dr. Misiasz says there are guidelines you should follow when introducing peanuts to infants, and they should always start with talking with your child's pediatrician. Knowing if an infant is at risk of developing a peanut allergy is based on any known family history of an egg allergy or severe eczema, a kind of skin rash.
"These guidelines are recommending to introduce at 4 to 6 months for those high-risk children,” says Dr. Misiasz. “For moderate-risk children, introducing around 6 months and then for kids with low risk with no family history of food allergy or dermatitis, introduce as you would normally for your culture."
A high-risk child should be introduced to peanuts for the first time at the doctor's office. If your child is at moderate to low risk based on family history, the introduction of peanuts is generally made at home, according to Dr. Misiasz.
"Mix peanuts into different vegetable purees, use peanut butter, or peanut powder. I like to just rub it inside the gums and make sure the child will tolerate it OK, and see how they do with that first taste."
After you make that first introduction of peanuts, to your child you will want to watch for any reaction.
Dr. Misiasz says, "Symptoms to watch out at home are a mild rash, a little flushing of the face. Children might seem like they are more itchy, but that's hard to determine in a 6-month-old. More severe reactions are repetitive cough, drooling, swelling of the tongue, a wheeze or even difficulty breathing."
If there is a reaction you should call the doctor and see what he or she advises. They might advise over the counter medication or they may have you come in, but stop giving your child peanuts at that point.
Results of the latest studies, along with now unified guidelines on when to introduce peanuts show that the early introduction to kids can pay big benefits.
Dr. Misiasz says, "The exciting part about the study is that overall in kids who are at very high risk for peanut allergy there was a dramatic decrease in those children who went on to develop peanut allergy with introduction beginning this early."?