"These guidelines represent a wonderful opportunity to help stem the rise in peanut allergy and prevent a large number of cases of peanut allergy from ever developing..."
New peanut allergy guidelines announced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) offer the promise that early introduction of peanut-containing foods to infants can prevent the development of peanut allergy.
"These new guidelines are very exciting in that they have the potential to reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States," says Tonya Winders, President and CEO of Allergy and Asthma Network, the nation's leading patient education and advocacy organization for people with asthma and allergies. "Parents of at-risk children can now take steps to prevent the development of peanut allergy by introducing peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months of age.
"However, we continue to strongly urge parents of at-risk children to not introduce peanut into their child's diet without first consulting a board-certified allergist who can closely supervise and monitor the results."
"These guidelines represent a wonderful opportunity to help stem the rise in peanut allergy and prevent a large number of cases of peanut allergy from ever developing," says Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Section of Allergy and Immunology at Children's Hospital Colorado, and co-author of the guidelines. "If parents and providers buy in and follow these new recommendations, we can achieve a truly remarkable accomplishment that will have a lasting beneficial impact on the health of children across the United States."
Allergy and Asthma Network served on the NIAID expert panel that developed the new guidelines. The expert panel also included doctors, nurses, food allergy researchers and other lay organizations. "Parents deserve clear, evidence-based guidelines," Winders adds. "We were honored to represent the millions of families dealing with life-threatening food allergies every day."
The new guidelines are an addendum to the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States.
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