LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - May is Food Allergy Awareness month, and the food allergy that seems to get the most attention is a reaction to peanuts.
But new studies are changing the way we think about peanuts and when they should be introduced to a child.
Dr. Robert Mamlok, an Allergist at Covenant Health, says "We gave bad advice 20 years ago delaying giving foods that are potentially allergenic. The best data we have now is early introduction can prevent trouble." He says the most revealing study on peanut allergies comes from a comparison of parents and peanuts in London and Israel.
Dr. Mamlok explains, "They looked in Israel where they didn't have much peanut allergy. London was 10 fold higher and some bright scientist recognized that's because of early introduction of peanut to babies in Israel."
The study was an eye opener but Dr. Mamlok says do NOT just give a peanut product to your baby to see what happens because even a trace of peanut could trigger a reaction.
However, he says pediatricians are embracing this new way of thinking and allowing babies to taste peanut products in their office if the baby is not high risk for a peanut allergy.
Symptoms that would make a baby high risk include a skin rash called Atopic Dermatitis or an egg allergy.
Again, your pediatrician can best determine if your baby is high risk.