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New Peanut Allergy Guidance: Most Kids Should Try Peanuts

NBC News | Jan. 5, 2017

Logo: Nightly News

Jan. 5, 2017

New research shows that children should be introduced to peanuts before age 3. In fact, giving your infants peanut butter can prevent the allergy from developing. It might sound risky for parents, but allergy experts say that for most children, introducing peanuts early and consistently can protect them from developing an allergy later in life. For kids who are high-risk for allergy, those with eczema or an egg allergy, testing should be done with a medical professional.  

Parents worried about peanut allergies now have some surprising new guidance: Give some peanut to your babies.

New guidelines out Thursday say that even children with the highest risk of having a peanut allergy should be given small doses of the nut because it might prevent the allergy from ever developing,

Most kids should get a taste of peanut protein by the time they are 6 months old, and they should get regular doses if they don't have an allergic reaction. Those at highest risk should be tested in a specialist's office.

"We actually want all children to have peanut introduced," Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, an allergy specialist at Children's Hospital Of Colorado, told NBC News.

It's a big change from previous guidelines, which recommended that people keep peanuts and peanut products away from their kids completely until they are 3 years old if there is a risk of allergies.

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