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Panel: Early peanuts can help prevent allergies - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Panel: Early peanuts can help prevent allergies

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NEW YORK -

Sixteen-month-old Kaitlyn Crutchlow eats a mixture of peanut butter and water every day to try to prevent her from developing a peanut allergy. Both her brothers are severely allergic.

"I was terrified," mom Jenny Crutchlow said. "It's the exact opposite of what they told us when our boys were little."

New guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommend introducing high-risk babies like Kaitlyn to foods containing peanuts.

Dr. Hugh Sampson of Mount Sinai Hospital helped write the recommendations.

"We're saying not only it's OK, we're saying go do it," Sampson said. "In these high-risk children we need to get peanut into their diet early to try to prevent peanut allergy."

The guidelines say high-risk babies with severe eczema or egg allergy should be given peanut protein in the first four to six months.

"I wish something like this would cure peanut allergy but you know it's unlikely... I think we can significantly reduce the amount of peanut allergy," Sampson said.

Kaitlyn got her first taste of peanut at the doctor's office. Her parents use a dropper at home and keep her in just a diaper to avoid contamination with her allergic brothers.

"It's amazing," her mom said. "She doesn't react. She eats peanuts every day. I think as long as we maintain that she will never have to worry about that. Won't be a problem in her life. It won't be an obstacle."

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is not the first group to issue these guidelines. We reported two years ago that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggested kids be introduced to nuts in the first few months of life.

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