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Preventing Kids' Food Allergies Starts in Infancy

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a scary statistic: Every three minutes, an allergic reaction to a food sends someone to the emergency department, according to the nonprofit group Food Allergy Research & Education.

Food allergies affect one in every 13 children under age 18. Eight foods account for the majority of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

Science has found ways to help kids avoid allergies to eggs and peanuts, two of the most common of these food allergies. A research review published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that simply introducing eggs or peanuts to baby's diet after 4 months of age can lower the child's risk of developing an egg or peanut allergy.

Recently released guidelines from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more specific advice regarding peanuts based on a five-year study. That study involved more than 600 infants at high risk of developing the nut allergy, because they had severe eczema, an egg allergy or both. Half of the babies were given peanut-containing foods; half were not. Allergy risk was reduced by 81% in the group that ate the nuts, the study found.

These are the guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

  • If baby has severe eczema, egg allergy or both, introduce peanut-containing foods as early as 4 to 6 months of age.
  • If baby has mild to moderate eczema, consider introducing peanut-containing foods around 6 months of age.
  • If baby has no eczema or food allergy, introduce peanut-containing foods with other solid foods when age-appropriate.

It's important to work with your pediatrician to assess your baby's allergy risk. If it's high, the doctor may want to do an allergy test before you introduce these foods.

More information

FoodSafety.gov has more on food allergies.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=743936

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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