COLLEGE STATION, Texas - It may seem counterintuitive, but researchers say early exposure to peanut butter dramatically lowers your child's chances of becoming allergic.
When you introduce the product to the child early on, generally around six months, it acts similar to a vaccine in that it aids in building an immunity to the allergen.
According to foodallergy.org, this is strongly suggested for those who have severe eczema, an egg allergy or a first degree family member with a peanut allergy, because these kids face the highest risk of being allergic to peanuts.
For those who do have peanut allergies, Dr. Katy Greiner of Scott and White Clinic says be mindful of signs your child is having a reaction.
"Breathing difficulties are the big ones that you watch for. So sometimes kids with peanut allergies will kind of lean over and grab their chest because they can't breath. This is a sign of an allergic reaction and they will need their epinephrine," says Dr. Greiner.
This early introduction can also be used with other foods that are commonly associated with allergies such as tree nuts, eggs, wheat and shell fish.
Dr. Greiner also says despite popular belief, those who have anaphylaxis should always carry two EpiPens instead of one. EpiPens are only good for about 10 minutes and a second dose may need to be administered.