You know how pediatricians told us to avoid feeding our children nuts until they were at least three years old? They were wrong. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a new study found feeding infants small amounts of peanuts for years — under the supervision of a physician — can reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy by 81%.
If you, or your child, suffer from a peanut allergy, you may find this news a tad bit annoying. After all, you have to live with a life-threatening allergy. You have to constantly ask, “Are there nuts in this?” And you must put up with insensitive types who complain they can’t send their kids to school with peanut butter — as if that’s more important than triggering anaphylactic shock in a child who has to carry an EpiPen everywhere she goes. (Is it obvious my kid is allergic to nuts?)
On the flipside, if you have a baby younger than 12 months or you’re expecting or planning a family, this food allergy breakthrough is great news! Given the fact that peanut allergies had doubled before this discovery, it’s one less thing for you to worry about. And as you take your cherished, allergy-free kids to school, parks, and birthday parties, please try to remember that those with allergies are someone’s cherished kids, too. And your kind sensitivity to their health can go a long way — it can prevent an avoidable tragedy.
“A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love for all humankind.” —Richard Dehmel