Can peanut allergy be prevented?

There are no proven methods for prevention at this time. Recommendations from various experts have not suggested (no longer suggested) maternal avoidance during pregnancy or during breast-feeding. There are no specific recommendations against allowing a child to ingest peanut when they are developmentally ready (e.g., when they can handle the food properly and it is not a choking hazard). However, this is all an area of active research and there have been studies with results on both sides of these possible approaches. Talk to your doctor! Additionally, if your child already has food allergies, you should talk to your doctor before trying peanut.

Because scientists haven't discovered an explanation for why people develop peanut allergies, there isn't a proven method to prevent peanut allergy. However, there are ways to prevent and prepare for allergic reactions. If you or your child has been diagnosed with a peanut allergy, the following steps can help you prevent a reaction:

  • Understand allergy causes and symptoms.
  • Remove peanuts from your diet.
  • Read food labels to avoid accidental exposure to peanuts.
  • Carry emergency medications such as antihistamines or epinephrine injectors.
  • Wear a medical alert device.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.