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Good News! New Guidelines Can Help Prevent Peanut Allergies

According to a study from 2010, 2 percent of people in America have a peanut allergy. It may not seem like much, but that number is four times higher than it was in 1999.

Fortunately, researchers have finally found a way to prevent kids from getting peanut allergies, and there are new guidelines that should help reduce the number of kids who can't enjoy Reese's Pieces, peanut butter cookies, and all the other treats we enjoy.

The new method is simple, but doctors are hoping they'll keep lots of people healthier, and save a lot of money in medical costs.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (say that three times fast), peanut allergies can be avoided by slowly introducing the food to infants.

Doctors used to suggest waiting until children were at least 3 years old before introducing them to peanuts, but now they say that as soon as parents decide to, they can begin with foods like watered down peanut butter.

The reason for these new recommendations is a recent study that found feeding children peanuts early on made them much less likely to develop allergies. In a trial of 600 infants, the ones who ate peanuts regularly were 81 percent less likely to have allergies by age 5.

But before you go baking any peanut-filled treats for your grandkids, there are some important regulations you should know.

Peanuts aren't for everybody. If your infant has eczema, or you know they have an egg allergy, you should hold off until they're six months old, but they can still try some.

So whether you like chunky or smooth peanut butter, roasted, salted, whatever, give your kids some peanuts. You may help them avoid a real buzzkill of an allergy!

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