If introduced to infants with potential for a high risk peanut allergy in their early diet, this could very well prevent most cases of nut related allergies later on in life according to experts. Of course, there’s still room for further research, but for care providers whose primary concern relates to the introduction of certain foods, consulting with an allergist can be beneficial.
The allergy is known to affect nearly 1-3% of all children, with cases being most common in western countries such as the UK and US. In fact, over the past 10 to 15 years, the number has tripled in the US! This just increases the importance of finding something that would stop or slow down the rapid escalation of allergy cases in America, and so far, we do have reason to hope after examining the results that were brought forward by the LEAP trial.
Taking help from existing guidelines as well as the trial that resulted in this breakthrough statement, medical experts have come up with new guidelines that recommend;
Early Introduction of Peanut-Containing Products
For infants between 4 and 11 months, especially those who are at high risk and in places where cases of peanut allergy are the most prevalent, introducing products containing peanuts into their diet is a good idea. This is one way of significantly decreasing risk of peanut allergy in children later on.
Primary care providers (parents) should definitely follow this guideline, especially during the first 4-6 months. The allergist or physician will then determine after the evaluation whether the infant should be introduced to peanuts or not.
Can The Same Be Said For Other Food Allergens and Groups?
Based on previous recommendations that largely focused on complete avoidance of the food item, it’s not surprising that parents feel, in light of this new research, that they are somehow responsible for their children having the allergy in the first place. This isn’t the case; although more studies need to be carried out in other countries as well with other major food allergens to determent whether early introduction of these foods can help prevent allergies or not and how should this step be followed.
In the meantime, parents should definitely start introducing the one food item that has been given the all-clear by researchers and medical experts alike, as it’s highly unlikely that your child with high risk of eczema will develop peanut allergy. While parents may still have certain qualms in carrying out this recommendation, but rest assured no harm will come to your child. Of course, consulting with a healthcare provider is the next best thing you can do.