Early exposure to peanuts can prevent allergy development


ABILENE, Texas - A new national study says infants have a better chance of not developing nut allergies if introduced to the foods early on. According to The National Institutes of Health, early exposure to peanuts is more likely to protect babies from developing an allergy than harm them.

Kevin Johnson tells us about the day his daughter Logan, eight years old at the time, had a severe reaction after she accidentally ate a walnut.

"We came to the house, we sat here for two hours and then she went to sleep. When she woke up she got sick and four minutes after she got sick, she was blue and unconscious on our living room," said parent Kevin Johnson.

After using an EpiPen and a trip to the hospital, Logan was fine, but doctors said hopefully some new guidelines will keep this from happening to other kids.

"Food allergies or peanut allergies are the number one food allergy related to death. In the past ten years we've seen like doubling of kids that show up with peanut allergies," said Abilene Regional Medical Center Dr. Hector Garcia.

Garcia said to avoid feeding infants whole peanuts as they can be a choking hazard.

Under the new guidelines, infants who do not have food allergies or eczema can be introduced to foods containing peanuts at any time. If they have asthma or an egg allergy, that number shifts to four-to-six months. For kids with a mild case of eczema, they should be exposed to foods containing peanuts at or after six months.

Johnson advises parents to get a blood test so you know as soon as possible.

"They did a blood test on my daughter when she was born so we've known about her allergy since day one," Johnson said.

To find out more about this new study, click here.