Why It's Important To Watch For Peanut Butter Reactions In Toddlers

Sometimes parents of toddlers wonder why such emphasis is placed on peanut butter and reactions to it. After all, children can also be allergic to eggs, milk, soy, wheat, and other foods. Although other foods can cause allergic reactions, a peanut butter allergy can result in anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis Can Cause Death If Not Treated Immediately

Anaphylaxis is far more severe than allergic reactions caused by other sources. Symptoms of this reaction include dizziness, loss of consciousness, and difficulty breathing. The child may also have wheezing, tightness in the throat, a hoarse voice, itching in the mouth or throat, and stuffiness. Hives, a rash, swelling, or redness can also occur. The child may also have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If a toddler shows any of these symptoms after eating peanut butter, he should receive immediate medical care. It is never a good idea to wait and see what happens when these serious symptoms occur.

Anaphylaxis is Rare but Life-Threatening

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), 6% of children who are 0-2 years of age have a food allergy and about 9% of 3- to 5-year-olds have a food allergy. Around 38.7% of the children who have food allergies will experience a severe reaction. A peanut allergy is more common than any other food allergy. Anaphylaxis can occur within a few minutes to a few hours after eating peanut butter or any food with peanuts in it.

Doctors are Not Sure Why Food Allergies are Increasing

According to AAAAI, allergies have risen in the industrialized world for the past 50 years. Doctors and scientists are not sure why this is happening. Food allergies occur when a person's immune system overreacts to a food, such as peanut butter. The body forms antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that can be found from an allergy blood test.

Observing a Toddler Eating Peanut Butter

Peanut butter allergies get a lot of attention because peanut allergy symptoms can be serious. Other things that can cause anaphylaxis are penicillin, tree nuts, and bee stings. Few other foods or environmental allergies are as serious as an allergy to peanut butter.

Photo: Pexels

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