One of the most common food allergies that are found in kids and adults alike is peanut allergy. It is, however, often found more commonly in kids.
In fact, this allergy is now found to be on the rise in kids, more than ever before. If you are worried that giving peanuts to your kid could result in an allergy, take some time out to understand this allergy better so that you can prevent or treat it in your kid.
What Is Peanut Allergy?
Knowing the root of the problem is almost solving the problem.
- It is a kind of food-allergic reaction.
- This reaction occurs right after or soon after exposure to either peanut or peanut-including products.
- This reaction is generally due to IgE antibodies against protein of peanut.
- The immune system mistakenly identifies the protein of peanut as something harmful and reacts to it.
- Instead of recognizing peanut protein as something good, your kid’s body reacts against it and results in allergy.
What Causes Peanut Allergy?
The following are the main causes of peanut allergy in children:
1. Direct Consumption:
Most kids get peanut allergy on direct consumption. It can be either in the form of childhood favorite peanut butter or peanuts itself or any other food items which contains peanut in some form.
2. Contact During Processing:
If a product gets exposed to peanuts in an unintended way either while it is being processed or being handled, then the resultant product too can cause peanut allergy to the allergic.
[ Read: Soy Allergy ]
Even simple inhaling of dust or aerosols that contain peanuts can cause peanut allergy. Cooking oil spray made from peanuts or even flour of peanut can stimulate reaction peanut allergy.
4. Family History:
If someone in the family suffers from peanut allergy, your kids too might get the same problem.
5. Food Allergic:
If your kid get other food allergies, he or she is more likely to develop a peanut allergy too.
Recognize Peanut Allergy Better With These Symptoms:
To be able to prevent and control peanut allergy, you must be able to identify it first. Here are few peanut allergy symptoms that might help you know whether your kid is prone to this allergy or not:
- Sudden skin reactions like hives, swelling or even redness.
- A constant running nose.
- If your kid experiences tightening of his throat.
- Sudden itching and tingling sensation in and around the mouth.
- Feeling of nausea or vomiting.
- Wheezing or breath shortness.
- Sudden stomach cramps and diarrhea.
- Loss of consciousness (only in severe cases of peanut allergy).
- Sudden collapse (only in severe cases of peanut allergy).
[ Read: Food Allergy ]
Treatment Of Peanut Allergy:
Largely, this allergy is treated depending on the intensity of reaction and kind of symptoms that your kid gets. The treatment may vary case to case. If you doubt your kid to have developed a peanut allergy, make sure you take him to an allergist immediately. The allergist will run blood tests and allergy test to come at a conclusion and treat accordingly.
Here is how peanut allergy should be treated:
- The first and foremost step is to seek medical help. You must visit your kid’s physician at the earliest and get a proper investigation done.
- After investigation, the physician may decide upon one of the following treatments:
1. Injected Treatment:
If the allergy is found to be severe, the physician may inject your kid to counter the reaction as quickly as possible. This form of treatment is known to offset and control the allergy and its symptoms.
[ Read: Food Allergy And Food Intolerance ]
2. Oral Treatment:
This sort of treatment is used when the allergy is not as severe. The physician gives medicine orally. These medicines are often found to be antihistamines that help to improve the symptoms and soothe allergy slowly. They also help reduce itching and resolve hives by themselves.
If your kid is suffering from a significant allergic reaction from peanut, the physician might have to retort to an oral moderate dose (may vary from case to case) of steroids to subdue the symptoms. This is largely done to delay the reoccurrence of the allergic symptoms as much as possible.
How To Prevent Peanut Allergy In Kids?
This allergy is found to be one of the most common allergies in kids. Here are few effective ways of preventing this allergy in your kid.
- It is best advised to introduce most allergenic foods to your kid at a very young age. Try to introduce peanuts and its products to your kid as early as 6 to 8 months old. This, however, needs the approval of the doctor.
- Know which foods contain peanuts in direct and indirect way. Try and avoid those foods as much as you can.
- Avoid creams and oil which might contain peanut oil, especially if your kid’s skin is broken.
- Most kids are detected by peanut allergy within the first two years of their lives. Younger kids are at a higher risk of developing peanut allergy because their immune systems are yet to mature.
- Watch out for signs and symptoms and avoid aggravating your kid’s peanut allergy.
- Always read food labels carefully. Know which foods contain peanuts.
Foods That Do Contain Peanut In Some Form:
Here is a list of foods that include peanuts in some form:
- Pesto sauce
- Cereals like granola and health bars
- Candies and chocolate
- Ethnic foods like Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese and even Thai
The above list is a brief one. Always investigate before making your kid have anything that you aren’t sure of.
[ Read: Allergies In Children ]
Will My Kid Ever Outgrow Peanut Allergy?
The answer to this question varies person to person.
- While some people stay with peanut allergies all their lives, others control the problem to some extent.
- Once you control the peanut allergy in your kid, you should never start giving peanut and its products to your kid unless your doctor specifically asks you to do so.
We hope the information shared here will help you better understand peanut allergy in your kid. If your kid suffers from peanut allergy, it is best advised that you create a written action plan and give a copy of the same to your kid’s school teachers and even health care provider.
This is just to help them identify allergic reactions in your kid and take relevant actions immediately to relieve the problem.
Do you know about more symptoms and treatments of peanut allergy in kids? Tell us all you know about peanut allergy and help us spread the knowledge.
Reference Links: 1
- 4 Ways To Relieve Your Child From Food Allergy & Food Intolerance
- 7 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Allergies In Children
- 5 Types Of Soy Allergy In Children You Should Be Aware Of
- Food Allergy In Children – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments