New guidelines on preventing peanut allergy in at-risk infants

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Infants with severe eczema, egg allergy or both, who are deemed to be at high risk of developing peanut allergy, should have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diet from as early as 4-6 months of age.

That’s according to newly published guidelines from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The guidelines were prompted by emerging data suggesting that peanut allergy can be prevented by the early introduction of peanut-containing foods.

In infants with mild or moderate eczema, peanut-containing foods should be introduced from around six months of age. Infants without eczema or any food allergy should have peanut-containing foods freely introduced into their diets.

The guidelines state that in all cases, infants should start other solid foods before they are introduced to peanut-containing products.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIAID, said widespread implementation of the new guidelines by healthcare providers will prevent the development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and will ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy.