the questions I get from you, dear readers, are easy, such as
Skipís inquiry (in the spirit of my corny joke column),
"How do you know when blue cheese has gone bad?" Baa
letters spur me on to do more research on a topic. A recent
reader, for example, scolded me for taking peanuts on a recent
flight to a family wedding. (We were in fact, served peanuts
on this particular flight.)
about other children and adults Ö who have severe peanut
allergy?" she wrote. "Peanuts have been banned for
quite some time now on all major airlines."
our peanut flight airline, Southwest, just recently announced
that, beginning August 1, they will no longer serve peanuts
onboard their planes. Delta airlines states on their website
that they will not serve peanuts on a particular flight if a
passenger notifies them of an allergy. Other carriers such as
American and United donít serve packaged peanuts on their
flights. These airlines warn, however, that other foods they
serve may contain nuts or other foods to which some passengers
may be allergic.
allergic reactions are no joke, to be sure. Because of
potential life threatening reactions, people with food
allergies must be constantly vigilant about the foods they eat
and the environments they enter, say experts at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
last year, in an effort to prevent the growing prevalence of
peanut allergies in particular, a panel of experts sponsored
by the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID), recommended some guidelines that didnít
appear at first to make sense.
of avoiding peanuts, they recommend introducing them ó under
a doctorís supervision ó as early as 4 to 6 months of age
into the diets of infants at high risk for developing peanut
allergy (those with severe eczema and/or egg allergy).
Children with mild or moderate eczema (rough and inflamed
patches of skin) should have peanut-containing foods
introduced into their diets around 6 months of age. These new
guidelines also recommend children at low risk for food
allergies should have peanuts freely introduced into their
diets when other solid foods are introduced, usually around 4
to 6 months of age.
crazy but a landmark clinical trial on 600 infants found that
regular peanut consumption begun in infancy and continued
until 5 years of age reduced the development of peanut allergy
by 81 percent in children at high risk for peanut allergy.
Find information about this study at Learning Early About
Peanut Allergy http://www.leapstudy.co.uk/.
for your letters that make me smile and those that keep me on
my toes, dear readers. And always remember ó if you have
severe allergies ó to notify your airline when you book your