27 August 2015

Early exposure may prevent peanut allergies

A paediatricians' group joins the call for early exposure to peanuts to prevent allergies in children.


A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn 1.

Allergy tests recommended

The interim guidance is in response to a major allergy study published earlier this year that found that exposure to peanuts in infancy seemed to help build tolerance – contrary to conventional thinking.

Baby suitable foods used in the study included smooth peanut butter, peanut soup and finely ground peanuts mixed into yogurt and other foods.

The advice comes in a consensus statement that the American Academy of Paediatrics helped prepare and endorsed in June along with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and several foreign allergy groups.

Read: Allergy testing

The academy is releasing the statement online Monday in the journal Paediatrics.

Allergy tests are recommended before exposing at-risk infants to peanut-containing foods between 4 months and 11 months of age.

These are youngsters who've had skin reactions to eating eggs or a severe eczema skin rash, which suggests a possible food allergy.

The recommendations are meant to serve as interim guidance while more extensive guidelines are prepared by the National Institute of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Those are expected by next year, the consensus statement said.

Read more:

Peanut allergies rising

Treating allergies





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Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies. obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

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