Peanut Allergies Affecting More Kids

Potentially life-threatening peanut allergies are afflicting children at a younger age than they did 10 years ago.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that children born after 2000 had their first adverse reaction to peanuts at a median age of 14 months, almost a year younger than the previous median age of 2.

Some pediatricians suggest withholding peanut products until children reach age 3.

The allergy is still relatively rare, affecting about 1.8 million people in the U.S. But researchers say the numbers are rising, especially among children. Some studies even suggest that the number of afflicted children under age 5 has doubled since 1997, though researchers aren't sure why.

Duke's chief of pediatric and immunology Dr. Wesley Burks suggests keeping an antihistamine such as Benadryl close in case of emergency.


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