Paediatric specialists and surgeons are concerned with parents getting the wrong message regarding the safety/desirability of letting babies and young children eat peanuts to prevent them from developing peanut allergies. Last week’s news coverage of a scientific article published February 26, 2015, in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy,” has prompted the American College of Surgeons to release infant and child safety comments on the issue of feeding infants and young children peanuts.
“Recent news coverage concerning exposing babies to peanuts to avoid a food allergy into adulthood sounds positive, but it could have unintended disastrous outcomes,” the Advisory states. “It is important that parents and caregivers are aware of the risks of giving nuts to babies and infants. The scientific paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine responsibly addressed this worry but much of the news coverage of this research has not highlighted the dangers inherent with not proceeding with caution.”
The Advisory points out that peanuts place infants and young children at risk for dangerous choking episodes, provides commentary on the right setting for peanut exposure in infants and children at risk for allergy, and supports Choking Guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The entire Advisory can be found online at: www.facs.org/peanutadvisory
(Source: American College of Surgeons, New England Journal of Medicine)