When Should you Test your Child for Peanut Allergies?
It is dreadful to find out that your child could be allergic to peanuts. For both the parent and child, it will be a long road ahead of them to stay clear of peanuts. It can be a life-changing event that dictates where the child can go and what activities he can participate in with other children without fear of exposure to peanuts. It is often too an allergy that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Avoiding peanuts altogether
Some parents choose the route of never testing their child for a peanut allergies and just tell them to avoid these nuts altogether. This, however, isn’t the best idea. It is much better to test for a peanut allergy under a controlled condition where help is available quickly if need be.
There was one case a few years ago where a 15-year-old didn’t know that she was allergic to peanuts and ended up kissing her boyfriend that still had trace amounts of peanuts on his lips. Another girl was offered a dinner that had peanut sauce on the side and she didn’t know about her peanut allergy either. Unfortunately, the results were fatal in both of these cases and they could have been avoided if the children knew that they would have to stay away from peanuts entirely.
How to test your child for peanut allergies
There’s no specific recommendation for the age at which a child should be tested but you should always wait until the child can at least let you know that he is experiencing some symptoms. An itchy throat can turn it into a full-blown closure of the air passages in very little time when you’re dealing with a deadly allergy. Most children at the age of 2 -3 can let you know about any symptoms that are occurring.
If you feel that your child may be more prone than others to having a peanut allergy due to a family history of it then you may want to take your child to a hospital to perform the test. You can just sit down in the front lobby and offer your child a small amount of peanut butter. If anything should occur, you’re at least in the right place to have it happen!
Most children do not have a peanut allergy but for the ones that do it’s often a life-threatening and life-changing occurrence that they need to get used to most likely for the rest of their lives. As more and more schools adopt a peanut-free environment, it makes things a lot easier for the parents and children that have to deal with this unfortunate medical condition.