Questions abound over new child food allergy recommendations

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ZIONSVILLE — Doctors think they may have an answer to the growing number of kids with food allergies, but it’s not one that parents seem to be buying into just yet.

For decades, doctors have recommended that parents hold off the introduction of foods like peanuts, milk and eggs until kids are one to three years old. Since then, though, allergist Dr. Frederick Leickly at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health says allergies among kids have only increased.

“The peanut allergic population actually tripled,” Leickly said.

Instead, new recommendations suggest that parents introduce the foods in children four to six months old.

“If we expose them then, we may prevent the food allergy from developing down the line,” Leickly said.

That’s a hard bargain for parents like Lauren Kossack whose two young sons both suffer from severe allergies. If she had a third child, Kossack said she would not introduce the foods early.

“As a parent you have to take it and say, ‘What are you comfortable with?'” Kossack told Fox 59.

Kossack said other parents should make their own decisions, but advised them to be sure they know the symptoms of allergic reactions ahead of time.

Leickly suggested that parents who are worried should call an allergist or pediatrician and make plans to introduce the foods with a doctor present.

6 comments

  • karrie

    Love that fox is doing a story on these, Dr . Likley is the best in the state ! My son has gone to him sense 2007 and we as a family loves Dr likley abd his staff. Dr. Likley is not just a Dr. Hes a teacher, resercher and a very caring person.

  • food allergies

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  • Kim

    I have never feed my daughter peanut butter or peanuts her entire life and she suffers from a severe peanut allergy…so I am not buying it 😉

  • Anna

    It would be great if such introduction at an early age solved the problem, but I don't think it's the answer. Young babies (prior to 4 months old) when breastfed by Mum's who have eaten peanut butter can become sick and develop rashes – doesn't this show that the baby can be allergic right from when born? When my son had allergy tests at 6 months olf he was already allergic to peanuts. Also, we were not given these allergens (such as peanut butter) between 4-6 months old when we were kids – and yet there was a low incidence of peanut allergies when I was a child. I'm not at all convinced by this report – and where is the research to back the recommendations?

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