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Peanut Butter and Newborns
by TeenHelp July 3rd 2017, 12:56 PM

Peanut Butter and Newborns
By Brittany (.Brittany.)

History

For many years, mothers have been wondering if it's safe for babies to eat peanut butter while breastfeeding or to be around peanut butter, as it was unknown whether or not the newborns may have an allergy to it. A lot of babies don't develop an allergy until they have tried the food, and most of the time it's when they're at an older age; but sometimes they do develop allergies when they are still young. In the United States alone, approximately 300,000 children under the age of 18 have some kind of food allergy and 2 out of every 100 of those children have an allergy to peanuts and nuts.

The Study

In early 2017, studies have found that moms should start introducing their newborns to peanut butter or peanut products as early as four months after birth. The American Academy of Pediatrics claim that introducing newborns to peanut butter will lower their chance of developing allergies to peanut products at an older age.

With this new study, the American Academy of Pediatrics have also come up with a few guidelines that parents should consider before they start introducing their children to peanut products. Most of the guidelines are if a newborn or child has either eczema or an allergy to egg products that they should get tested for peanut allergies before they start to get introduced to peanut products.

How allergy tests are performed


To get allergy tests done, most doctors will send both the child and the mother to an allergist to have a skin test. A skin test is when the doctor will drop some concentrated extract liquid from different types of allergens onto the arm and then will make small pricks to make the allergen go into the skin. If a rash forms, then the person is allergic to that product. This type of test may sound painful, but it really isn't. Another type of allergen test they might do is an intradermal test, which is when they inject a little bit of an allergen under the skin to also see if a rash forms. The last one is a patch test. With the patch test they will put an allergen on the patch and stick it to a sensitive part of the skin, usually the forearm. They will usually leave it there for a little while to allow enough time for the allergen to be absorbed into the skin. If there is an allergy to the item then a rash will form and then that portion of the skin will become itchy.

How should you introduce peanut products to babies?

The most important thing is to not give the baby a full peanut. It's very easy for babies to choke on it as they aren't fully used to swallowing solid foods. The baby should be able to handle other types of solid foods before introducing peanut products. Also, make sure that the baby isn't alone for a couple of hours after giving them peanut products to monitor for possible reactions. If there is one then the baby needs to go to the emergency department as soon as possible.

To feed peanut products to a baby, make sure to grind the nuts up into powder so the powder can be mixed in with pureed food. A parent can also heat up some peanut butter so it melts, and mix it with water or formula. Parents should try and feed peanut products to their baby at least three times a week.


Sources:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-w...eanut-products
http://www.aappublications.org/news/...tAllergy010517
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/skin-test#1
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