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2014 Buzz Guide: Health

Controversy over allergen bans

peanuts

MD Moms co-founder Dr. JJ Levenstein is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and she's totally on top of the hot-button kids' health issues. She says allergies will be a bigger deal than ever in 2014.
 
"This year parents are likely to be buzzing about food allergies and school bans on allergenic foods (especially peanuts). More and more schools are exercising bans on allergens, promoting general panic. But studies have shown that food bans don’t work, because schools let their guards down and operate under the assumption that allergic reactions won’t occur, when in fact they do (often with teachers, or with kids whose parents sneak in the allergen). What's more, the latest allergen position from the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to include high-risk foods like milk products, eggs, and nuts early in the diets of children, in an effort to help young babies to develop tolerance, rather than waiting too long (until that window of opportunity is shut). There will also be some information coming from the LEAP study in the UK that hopefully will shed some light on when that window of tolerance closes in high-risk children. It’s going to be an interesting year."