One of the many changes in child raising in recent years has been the fear of and the prevalence of peanut allergies. Allergies need to be taken seriously, and it has reached the point where some of my grandchildren are not allowed to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school. It is a serious problem that seems to have increased in recent years. Well, some researchers have discovered some things that might help us understand what has happened.
WCVB in Boston posted a story yesterday about some recent research into peanut allergies.
The article reports:
Researchers at King’s College London studied 530 infants who were between 4 and 11 months when the study began.
All of the babies were given skin tests and found to be at high-risk for a peanut allergy. They were then split into two groups.
One group was instructed to consume peanuts, or a dissolvable peanut snack, on a regular basis.
the other was told to avoid peanuts.
The children were followed for five years and overall, the prevalence of peanut allergy in the peanut-avoidance group was 17 percent compared to 3 percent in the consumption group.
Researchers are calling this a landmark study because it may have answered the question as to what might be the best time to start feeding allergenic foods like peanuts, eggs, milk or tree nuts to infants who are at high risk for the development of food allergies.
The fact that conscientious parents delayed the introduction of peanuts may actually be responsible for the sudden increase in peanut allergies. How ironic. Hopefully this study may help us turn the tide on this problem. I want to go back to the days where peanut butter and jelly are allowed in our schools!