Younger Age Exposure to Peanuts for Children, Despite Recommendations: New Study

Despite public health recommendations that at-risk families avoid exposing children to peanuts during their first three years, the age at which allergic kids have their first reaction to peanuts has dropped significantly over the last decade.  The finding is the result of new research published in the latest issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In the study of peanut-allergic patients between 2000 and 2006, the median first age of exposure and allergic reaction to peanuts was found to be 14 and 18 months, respectively.  A similar study of peanut-allergic patients conducted between 1995 and 1997 revealed that the median first ages of exposure and reaction were 22 and 24 months, respectively.  A comparison of results of the two studies demonstrates that AAP recommendations that children under 3 avoid peanut exposure are not being followed throughout most of the nation

Nation-wide, the report reveals, food allergies are also on the rise.  According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), food allergies affect between 6% and 8% of all children under 4 years of age, as well as 4% of all adults.  Approximately 90% of all food allergies in children are attributable to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat and soy. 

Researchers advise that egg allergy is also very common in children with peanut allergies, and that sesame seeds should perhaps also be considered one of the major food allergens.

Previously on the DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:

  • A Whole Foods recall of chocolate bars with undeclared nuts
  • A study demonstrating that breast-feeding doesnt cause cavities
  • Evidence that many doctors dont detect high blood pressure in children

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