Peanut allergy among children has significantly increased and, on occasion, the reaction can be severe or life threatening. Due to recent changes to advice regarding peanut consumption for pregnant women and children, and ongoing research into primary allergy prevention, confusion exists on how best to prevent or reduce peanut allergy. At the same time, debate has occurred about the best time to start introducing solid foods. This article sets out key features of peanut allergy and summarises current advice, as well as ongoing research and policy formation.
Peanuts are a member of the legume family, along with beans, peas and lentils. While those who are allergic to peanuts are not generally allergic to other legumes, they are often allergic to tree nuts, such as walnuts, brazil or hazelnuts.1