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How vigilant should I be if my child has a peanut allergy?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If your child has a severe peanut allergy or other serious allergy, you will have to be his strongest advocate everywhere he goes -- clearly communicating in writing the seriousness of the allergy and how to handle it, including prevention, an action plan in case of exposure, and emergency numbers. Many other parents will try to help, some will be aloof, and some will underestimate the severity of the problem, so make no assumptions about what other people know and don't know about allergies. Be clear about the risks and about the parameters: for example, that your child will get reactions even if the peanuts are anywhere in the room. As your child gets older, she'll learn what she can and can't have, but at this stage it takes hypervigilance on your part to educate everyone else around her. Clear up some of the most common rookie mistakes that adults make: like making a sandwich with the same knife that was used to spread peanut butter, or sharing foods that don't overtly contain any peanuts but may have been made with peanut oil.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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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.