About 1 percent of children and adults in the United States are allergic to peanuts and peanut products, including peanut butter and any food containing peanuts (1, 2). For reasons that are not well understood, peanut allergy has doubled in the past decade (3). Individuals with a peanut allergy can have a serious (such as difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness) or even fatal reaction if they eat peanuts. This reaction occurs because the immune system of an affected individual reacts abnormally to usually harmless proteins in peanuts. Children and adults who are allergic to peanuts should not eat them at any time. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent peanut allergy in a child.
Peanut allergies are very frightening and very serious.
I learned this first hand when I witnessed my first peanut allergy reaction.
It was a 2 year old child, who had ingested an extremely small amount of granola and within several minutes she was completely covered in hives. Fortunately, she did not have difficulty breathing and was treated promptly.
A few days ago…I received this peanut allergy update from the March of Dimes.
I am passing it along with the hope that it will help in understanding this potentially life threatening allergic reaction and how it can be avoided.