Peanut Allergies Hit Younger Kids

Serve plain jelly sandwiches at lunch until youngsters turn 3, researchers suggest
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 3:38 PM CST
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(Newser) – Peanut allergies are showing up earlier in young children, researchers said today, cautioning parents to keep the legumes out of toddlers' diets. Older kids "can tell you right away if their mouths feel funny,” one doctor explained. The median age of a first reaction is now 14 months, down from 22 to 24 months less than a decade ago, Reuters reports.

More research is needed to determine what caused the increase. For now, pediatricians recommend that high-risk kids avoid peanut products until age 3, and that parents keep antihistamines handy. Nut allergies are among the deadlier food reactions: Of the 12 million Americans with food allergies, 200 die each year, almost all from reactions to ground nuts, such as peanuts, or tree nuts.