Why Are There so Many Kids with Peanut Allergies?

Playing Why Is There a Rise in Peanut Allergies?

Actress and comedian Kym Whitley joins The Doctors and as the mother of a child with a peanut allergy, she wants to know why they are so common. She says back in her day, no one seemed to have them, but now, it feels like all the children are born with a peanut allergy. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon shares that it is one of the more common food allergies; 3 out of 100 kids will have peanut allergies. 

Watch: Drs. Rx: Eat THIS as A Peanut Butter Alternative

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says a couple of theories exist to explain this. There is the hygiene theory which is that kids no longer play outside and get dirty as much as they used to, which used to stimulate a healthy immune system. Now, people are more careful and over-cleaning occurs, and this theory speculates that this may have somehow depressed our immune systems, making us more susceptible to foreign things. 

OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landy shares the mom theory which hypothesizes that when a mom’s pregnant, what she eats can have an impact on if her baby is going to be allergic. 

Dr. Nita shares that there is a lot of research right now surrounding these allergies and finding ways to at least desensitize children if they allergic. Dr. Ordon says allergist Dr. Carr suggests presenting kids at an early age to a bunch of different food types so they can get used to eating them earlier on which may help to prevent developing those allergies. He adds that a new vaccine is coming out for people with peanut allergies that is a series of injections that overtime will desensitize them. Dr. Nita says that 1 in 5 kids will grow out of it. 

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Kym shares that she hopes her son is one of those kids who grow out of it! She says that after two accidents where someone gave her son peanut butter she created a t-shirt for him that says “Don’t feed me.” There is a space on the shirt to write the child’s name and then a bunch of allergies next to checkboxes. Check them out at www.dontfeedme.org!

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