We are all very excited about the recently published study from the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at early introduction of Peanut to at risk children (these are children with severe eczema, who are at risk of developing peanut allergy). What this study found was that avoidance of peanut did not prevent peanut allergy. In fact, children that were given peanut had a 86% reduction in peanut allergy compared to those that practised avoidance.
Overall, studies are now pointing that the allergen avoidance strategy that were employed in the past did not prevent allergy. We are now understanding that the immune system needs to gain what is known as immune tolerance in order to not develop allergies.
Do note that what we are finding out is that avoidance does not prevent allergy but once allergy has developed, avoidance is the best management strategy.
Please see a qualified Allergist if you and your family have a strong family history for allergies and want to know more about allergy prevention strategies.