It makes sense when you think about it.
Forget any methods you thought would stop your child from developing an allergy to peanuts. Because a study carried out by King’s College London has found a new (and controversial) way to stop a peanut allergy from developing.
It suggests that babies as young as four-months-old should be given peanuts in the form of peanut butter or peanut snacks in a bid to reverse the allergy.
This is contradictory to what paediatricians and allergy specialists have long said, commonly warning parents to keep their children away from peanuts in their early years.
The Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study tested 640 children aged 4-11 months who were considered as high risk for developing a peanut allergy. (They had severe eczema and/or were allergic to eggs.)
According to The Guardian, “Until the age of five, half the children were given foods containing peanuts three times a week, while the families of the rest avoided giving their child peanuts.”
“By the time they were five, under 1% of the children who had regularly eaten peanuts throughout the study were allergic to them, compared with 17.5% of the rest.”
Lead author of the study, Professor Gideon Lack, said avoiding peanuts causes a rise in allergies.
“It is fair to say that in part the rise in peanut allergy can be explained by the fact that we have become peanut-avoidant as far as babies and young children are concerned,” he said.
But Gideon stresses this method needs to be done safely. Babies cannot be given entire peanuts but they can have smooth peanut butter or other snacks that are not a choking hazard.
Gideon emphasised the importance of introducing peanuts as early in life as possible. “We believe the window of opportunity to intervene is a very narrow one,” Gideon said.
Would you try this method to ensure your child doesn't develop a nut allergy?
Please check with your GP before giving your baby peanut products.
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