Health & Wellness

New Approach to Peanut Allergies


SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Senior Medical Advisor for PM Pediatrics, Dr. Christina Johns, has endorsed the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “about face” guideline on the issue of how to approach and prevent peanut allergies in children. A collaborative research team including the National Institute of Health (NIH) has been studying how to prevent the development of peanut allergies in very young children, which is, indeed, an exciting breakthrough in potential health risks to tots.

The multi-disciplinary team at the NIH suggests that a bit of peanut powder be sprinkled into the food of a child around six months of age. Mixing creamy peanut butter in warm water to dilute it, and feeding it with a spoon is another option to try peanuts out with a youngster.

The NIH further suggests that if a baby is considered high risk to have peanut allergies, risk factors including severe eczema or egg allergy, or both, he/she should start an introduction to peanuts at four months of age under the supervision of a pediatric allergy specialist.

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It is imperative that before introducing peanuts into the diet of a child, the pediatrician and/or allergist should be consulted, just in case the child has a reaction. Having diphenhydramine (like Benadryl) or your prescribed epinephrine auto injector (like an EpiPen) ready to treat any immediate allergic reaction should be included as part of the introduction of the peanut to the child's diet.

911 must be called immediately if after ingesting peanuts a child exhibits any of the following symptoms: wheezing or tightening of the airway, lip swelling, eyelid swelling, or more than just hives on the skin.

Dr. Johns carefully explains that such a dramatic change in medical treatment is often difficult to accept. She states, “I hope that more evolved minds recognize that with advances in scientific technique and methods, we will likely debunk more accepted practices in medicine just like the course was changed on this one.” She reminds us that medicine, as a science, must remain open-minded, question standard practice, think critically, acknowledge shortcomings and imperfections, and be accepting of change. As we learn more about how the human body works, changes in medical approach with change continually to promote smarter approaches to a healthy human being.

Dr. Christina Johns, a pediatrician and pediatric emergency physician, is the Senior Medical Advisor of PM Pediatrics. The closest PM Pediatrics to the Central Jersey area is located at 2421 US. Rt. 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902, phone number 732-856-5914. There are several other sites in the region.

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