Forget everything you’ve heard about NOT exposing young kids to peanuts! New NIH guidelines are now telling parents that babies as young as 6 months actually SHOULD be eating peanuts as a way to prevent a future allergy! In fact, doctors are even saying infants should have peanuts ‘early and often’ — how’s that for a 180? Find out what else the experts are saying here!
Giving your baby peanuts earlier rather than later might prevent them from developing an allergy, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). In the past, doctors warned parents AGAINST feeding their young children peanuts or peanut products until they were at least three years old. Why? The prevailing wisdom back then, was that feeding peanuts to youngsters too early on could put them at risk for developing severe allergic reactions.
— Avis Favaro (@CTV_AvisFavaro) January 5, 2017
Scientists today however, now believe the exact opposite! Based on observations in Israeli children living in Israel versus Israeli children living in Britain. Anthony S. Fauci, NIAID director, revealed in an interview that Israeli children in Israel — who are exposed to peanut products at a very early age — have a much lower risk for peanut allergies than Israeli children who live in Britain.
“They thought that perhaps we should try the counterintuitive approach of feeding peanuts to babies early on rather than withholding them in order to protect them,” Anthony explained. Scientists’ observations were then put to the test in a Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. The results, which were published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that children at high risk for a peanut allergy who regularly consumed peanuts as infants had an 81 percent lower chance of developing a peanut allergy by age 5.
Anthony called the results “very striking” and even estimated that the new guidelines could prevent thousands of children from developing peanut allergies. Pretty amazing, right? And to help parents understand this new information, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released formal, detailed guidelines on Jan. 5 explaining how and when kids should be introduced to peanuts.
The document, which was published in six medical journals, includes three separate sets of recommendations based on the level of risk an infant has for developing a peanut allergy. The kids at the highest risk are defined as babies with severe eczema and should be exposed to peanuts earlier on than other children — at 4 to 6 months old!
All other kids should start consuming peanut products at around six months old. “Something as simple as that … we think will go a long way in decreasing the incidence of peanut allergy in society,” Anthony said. Peanut allergies affect about two percent of the children in the United States — and those numbers appear to be growing — so if this technique actually works, these new guidelines are a total game changer!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you shocked to learn kids SHOULD be given peanut products at such a young age? How do you feel about this new study?