Friday, December 14, 2007
Nuts Over Nuts
Looks like the preschool director is not going nuts over nuts - she's got some new ammunition for those pesky parents pooh-poohing the no-nuts policy. A new study in this month's Pediatrics reports peanut allergies are showing up earlier and earlier. At 14 months for allergic kids born between 2000 and 2005 compared to 20 to 22 months for kids born between 1988 and 1999. For those of us with allergies in the genes - this news provokes some anxiety. If you can't stomach or get the journal article you can read about it over on MSNBC.
That's not quite the FULL story...
What did the data really say? Well, what you won't find in mainstream media reports -the decline at first reaction is due to kids being exposed at an earlier age to peanuts. Kids born between 1988 and 1999 didn't get their first taste of peanut until 19 months, then had their first allergic reaction at 21 months. Kids born after 2000 got their first taste at 12 months and first allergic reaction at 14 months. Seems amazing to me that kids are eating peanut butter earlier - what with all the peanut-free schools and daycares. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids in families with a history of allergies should not have peanuts until age 3. Makes one wonder - who were the kids in the latter phase of the study?
Green, T.D., LaBelle, V.S., Steele, P.H., Kim, E.H., Lee, L.A., Mankad, V.S., Williams, L.W., Anstrom, K.J., Burks, A.W. (2007). Clinical Characteristics of Peanut-Allergic Children: Recent Changes. PEDIATRICS, 120(6), 1304-1310. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-0350