A new study has found that peanut allergy treatment is safest when it is done before a child’s first birthday. Food allergies are something to take very seriously, especially when it comes to allergens like peanuts that have proven to be incredibly dangerous and life-threatening. Moms are advised when they start their baby on food to offer their baby foods that are considered high-risk allergens because it can decrease the chances of them developing allergies.
However, if it is found that their baby does have a peanut allergy, what can be done to help them? Is there a way to “cure” their allergy and protect their health?
According to Medical Xpress, a new study has found that peanut allergy treatment is safest when it is started in infants who are younger than 12 months old. This study was done by the University of British Columbiaand it can be read in full here.
Previous research from this team has already shown that preschoolers can overcome peanut allergies with a treatment that is known as “oral immunotherapy.” However, this new research is stating that the earlier this is started, the better and safer it will be.
This study focused on infants who had not yet had their first birthday, and it found that oral immunotherapy was safer for this age group than it was for toddlers and preschoolers.
Dr. Edmond Chan, the lead author of the study, stated that this treatment is affordable, safe, and effective, but this is especially true if it is started early in the child’s life. Oral immunotherapy consists of giving the infant a small amount of allergenic food, and they will gradually increase how much is given until they reach a maximum amount. The purpose is to “desensitize” the child until they are able to have a full serving without triggering an allergic reaction.
When this therapy is completed, the infant must go on to eat peanuts in their everyday life to ensure that the effects continue. This can seem terrifying to a parent of a child with an allergy, but this study can help ease some of those fears since it was shown to be incredibly safe.
After the study was completed, none of the infants under the age of one went on to have more than a mild reaction, and this was compared to 7.7% of children between the ages of 1 and 5 who had a more serious reaction.