The increased observation of peanut allergy in children during the last 10 years raised a concern as peanut allergy is severe and in most cases life long. Initially it was thought that early introduction of peanut into a child’s diet was the cause. A general recommendation was made then to exclude peanut from the child’s diet until the age of 3.
Several years later it was found that in countries that actually introduced peanut into the diet of infants had a reduced risk of developing peanut allergy. A study termed LEAP was performed which found that the best time to introduce peanut to prevent a peanut allergy was between 4 and 10 months of age. Subsequently the early introduction of peanut is now the general recommendation to reduce the risk of a child developing a peanut allergy.
There are several exceptions to this general recommendation which are: children with who already have a food allergy to egg and those children with moderate to severe eczema. In these two cases an evaluation by an allergist who is familiar with food allergy in small children should be consulted for further recommendations.
Interestingly, while no such recommendations are currently available for egg, similar observations have been made in when to introduce egg into an infant’s diet to reduce the risk of developing a food allergy to egg.
For further information feel free to contact your child’s physician or one of our staff.