About 2% of children in American who have a peanut allergy have "severe, even life-threatening reactions".
Up until 2008, pediatricians recommended that children avoid peanuts until age 3, but that delay did not seem to help, so the recommendation was dropped.
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.
"The recommendations are based on landmark research that found early exposure is far more likely to protect babies from developing peanut allergies than to harm them."
When I read this article, I thought, "Hmmm, this is like getting an allergy shot or even an immunization. Give me just a little and let my body build it's own defenses". I like it. Yep, this makes sense.
But how do I even start the process?
It's important to determine the level of risk that baby has of becoming allergic as they get older. The level of risk determines the approach. If a family member has a peanut allergy, it is especially important to consider this early exposure. This is the physician's job.
But, first things first...
1. "All babies should try other solid foods before peanut-containing ones, to be sure they're developmentally ready" (to eat solid foods, I guess!)
2. High-risk babies are those with egg allergies or who have severe eczema. They should have peanut-containing foods introduced at age 4 to 6 months after a checkup to tell if they should have the first taste in the doctor's office, or if it's OK to try at home with a parent watching for any reaction.
3. Moderate-risk babies, those who have milder eczema which is typically treated with over-the counter creams, should start peanut-based foods around 6 months, at home.
4. Most babies are low-risk, and parents can introduce peanut-based foods along with other solids, usually around 6 months.
5. Building tolerance requires making peanut-based foods part of the regular diet, about three times a week."
Next, in 2015, the National Institutes of Health evaluated 600 babies in order to put the England-Israel theory to test. "By age 5, only 2% of peanut eaters-and 11% of those at highest risk-had become allergic. Among peanut avoiders, 14% had become allergic, and 35% of those at highest risk."
Keep the food separate and take extra care with hand washing. Since the dangerous allergen is present in the home where it once was banned, emergency treatments need to be discussed.
Babies are designed to be adorable and we just wanna hug 'em up and kiss them. Make sure there is no skin-to-skin contamination. Better safe...