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ACAAI: Guidance Coming on Introducing Infants to Peanuts

High-risk infants can be introduced to peanut paste, peanut protein as early as 4 to 6 months of age

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For parents who are unsure when and how to introduce their babies to food containing peanuts, presentations at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), held from Nov. 10 to 14 in San Francisco, will offer guidance based on soon-to-be-released guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Existing evidence was reviewed by the guideline authors, and comprehensive recommendations were suggested for introducing age-appropriate peanut-containing foods to infants who have already eaten solid foods. The authors were food allergy researchers, physicians, nurses, and lay organization representatives from many fields.

Infants with severe eczema and/or an egg allergy are at high risk for peanut allergy, according to the guidelines. Parents are advised to introduce high-risk infants to peanut paste or peanut protein as early as 4 to 6 months of age, after determining it is safe to do so. Children with mild to moderate eczema who have already started solid foods can be introduced to peanut-containing foods at home at around 6 months of age, according to the guidelines. For children with no eczema or egg allergy, these products can be introduced per family preference.

“Studies have shown infants who are peanut-sensitized, aren’t necessarily allergic,” Matthew Greenhawt, M.D., an allergist and a guidelines coauthor, explained in an ACAAI news release. “Infants sensitized to peanuts showed the most benefit from early introduction of peanut-containing foods.”

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