Because according to a survey just presented as a poster presentation at the recent American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology annual meeting in New Orleans, doctors seem to remain especially slow about warning prospective parents in their practice of the latest advice about how to prevent, or at the very least, lower the risk for, this potentially serious allergy, which as every doctor should know and certainly every parent should be advised, now stipulate the early introduction of peanut products to try to lower the risk of peanut allergy.
This is, of course, completely opposite to the common advice of just a few years back, which was to delay introduction of peanut products but several rigorous studies have now determined that this old advice is wrong, wrong.
According to this survey of over 3000 parents, “only 58% recalled any discussion with their child’s pediatrician about when to begin feeding peanut-containing foods”, and of those who did discuss this serious issue with their kid’s health care provider, only 40% “received an actual recommendation in line with (the latest) guidelines”.
Now admittedly, this was a study on US providers of primary care to kids (this cohort was likely composed mainly of pediatricians because unlike in Canada, in the US, you don’t need a referral to see a pediatrician) but that makes these survey findings even more problematic because presumably pediatricians should be more up-to-date on kids’ health guidelines than family docs, given that pediatricians have only group to care for and to stay current on the best practices for that group.
So, hey, parents, especially prospective parents: the latest advice for lowering the risk of a peanut allergy in your infants is to do what they’ve long done in Israel, which is to offer your young’uns peanut products early in life although please don’t give them peanuts themselves until they’re old enough to properly swallow those little pebbles.
And of course, this is important info for grandparents, too, although you should be very careful about how you go about giving unsolicited advice to your children.