Peanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, found in a diverse range of products including some baked goods, candy, chili and many others foods that by outside appearances seem peanut-free. Because peanuts are so common and can cause such severe reactions many parents in the Phoenix area worry about whether their child might have an allergy.
If you are a parent and seriously concerned your child may have a peanut allergy your first port of call should be professional allergists, rather than relying on an internet or self-diagnosis. A professional will take a detailed history and conduct a safe and accurate test to determine if your child has an allergic reaction when exposed to peanuts.
It is important to get a diagnosis for two reasons – firstly should you receive a diagnosis they will provide all the support and advice you need to help your child eat safely at home and outside the home. Just as importantly if your child is tested by professional allergists and they discover he or she does not have an allergy they can then safely eat peanuts. This is important because avoiding potential allergens can actually make children more sensitive – if a child is unnecessarily stopped from eating peanuts this may actually contribute to their developing an allergy!
If you are concerned then the following list of signs should help you decide whether you need to visit the allergists:
- Near Immediate Reaction - If your child is allergic to peanuts they should experience a near-immediate reaction when exposed. This could be a combination of a number of symptoms including swelling of the face or throat, quick-spreading rashes, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting or feeling weak.
- Often Runs in Families - Family members with allergies make it more likely your child will have allergies themselves.
- Happens Every Time - An allergic reaction is reliable and repeatable – the symptoms should appear any time a peanut is eaten – they will not happen just some of the time.