Could giving young children peanuts prevent allergies?
Any parent with a child who has peanut allergies will tell you it can be a terrifying experience. Peanuts are a leading cause of food allergic reactions and can be fatal. But new research suggests that introducing young children to peanuts may help reduce the risk of developing an allergy.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that babies introduced to peanut products were significantly less likely to develop an allergy. Children given peanuts for at least four years starting when they were infants were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy, according to the study.
The prevailing advice by pediatricians and specialists was to avoid giving peanuts early in childhood. Researchers suggest new public health guidelines should be considered.