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Four Years After Release of Guidelines, Parents Still Not Informed About Early Peanut Introduction

Four Years After Release of Guidelines, Parents Still Not Informed About Early Peanut Introduction

Study shows only 40% of parents were advised to introduce peanut to their infant during first year of life

NEW ORLEANS (November 5, 2021) – In 2017, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released guidelines to help parents introduce peanut products to their infants to prevent peanut allergy. A new study being presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals that although 58% of those surveyed reported their primary care physician (PCP) discussed early peanut introduction, only 40% of the parents said they received a recommendation to introduce peanut by 11 months of age.

“Our survey showed that while PCPs are discussing the idea of early peanut introduction with parents of infants, they aren’t recommending that most parents begin peanut by 11 months of age,” said Christopher Warren, PhD, primary author of the study. “We now know that the earlier peanut is introduced, as early as when a child begins solid foods, the better the chance that peanut allergy can be prevented.”

The survey gathered responses from 3062 households in an approximately 3-week period in 2021. The parents/caregivers who responded had children between the ages of 7 months and 3.5 years. Among the infants, 11% had eczema – significant because eczema is one of the indicators parents and caregivers need to be mindful of as a risk factor for food allergies.

In general, parents/caregivers of children with eczema had a greater awareness of the guidelines (18%), and 69% of those parents/caregivers said their child’s PCP had discussed peanut introduction.

“Of those we surveyed, only 44% of the parents/caregivers reported introducing peanut by 11 months of age,” said Ruchi Gupta, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the study. “And only 13% of all those who responded were aware of the NIAID guidelines. Early peanut introduction should be discussed with parents/caregivers of all infants, including those at higher risk of developing peanut allergy.”

Parents should know that most infants are either moderate- or low-risk for developing peanut allergies, and most can have peanut-containing foods introduced at home. Whole peanuts should never be given to infants as they are a choking hazard. More information can be found here and also in the ACAAI video featuring Dr. Gupta, “Introducing peanut-containing foods to prevent peanut allergy.”

Abstract Title: Current US Parent/Caregiver Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Regarding Dietary Introduction of Peanut Protein During Infancy
Presenter: Christopher Warren, PhD

For more information about allergies and asthma, or to find an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. The ACAAI Virtual Annual Meeting is Nov. 4-8. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, go to our News page – and follow the conversation on Twitter #ACAAI21.

About ACAAI
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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