The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is accepting public comments on its proposed guidelines update regarding peanut allergy prevention. The new guidelines will include earlier introduction of peanuts to infants as an addendum to the 2010 Guidelines already in place.
The update will recommend that healthy infants be introduced to palatable peanut foods as early as 4 to 6 months of age. The panel will recommend that the child have undergone a standard IgE level test and if the results show levels under 0.35 kUA/L, that peanut be introduced.
“At risk” infants are defined as those who blood test results are higher than 0.35 kUA/L and whose family has a history of peanut allergy or other food allergies. The panel is recommending that infants who blood tests are high undergo a skin-prick test for peanut allergy, conducted by a qualified allergist.
If the child does not react to peanut tests or peanut foods, doctors should recommend more peanut in their diet.
Children who are successfully eating peanut foods should have those foods regularly, the panel suggests, and physicians should give instructions on rough quantities and how often they should be eaten.
The NIAID’s recommendations are based on current research which is showing that early introduction of many common allergens, especially peanut proteins, can reduce risks of developing an allergy later in life.
Public commentary on the panel’s draft guidelines will be open until April 18, 2016.