Peanut Allergies Have Tripled in Kids

Jeanne Sager

peanut allergies
Flickr photo by EuroMagic
Peanut allergies are on the rise -- at least according to a new study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

So all that news about food allergy fears being overblown? That is so last week.


It turns out pre-schools really are facing more peanut panic. The estimates published in the Journal of Allergy and Immunology point to the number of kids with allergies more than tripling since 1997.

But before you roll out the hazard suits, the numbers are still ludicrously low.

Only 1.4 percent of American kids have a verified peanut or tree nut allergy.

That's up from 0.4 in 1997, but it's still less than 2 percent of the population. Hardly enough to generate the hysteria that comes on a playground when a mom whips out a Snickers.

Peanut allergies in the kids who have them are real, but these numbers lend an awful lot of credence to last week's news that the fears are indeed overblown.

Your kids have a higher chance of being diagnosed with autism than a peanut allergy, of being hit by a car than going into anaphylactic shock.

As a mom whose heart skipped a beat when my daughter accidentally got hold of some peanut butter before she was 2 (she was fine), I would've appreciated some real numbers being put on this "epidemic" a few years ago. I know I would've breathed easier.

Will you?

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