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A new study has looked at whether eating peanuts as a young child effects the likelihood of being allergic to them later on. 640 infants with severe eczema, an egg allergy, or both were split into two groups. Some of the infants also tested positive for peanut allergy. The infants, aged 4-11 months at the start of the research were either given peanut snacks or asked to avoid peanuts until they were 5 years old. At 5 years old the prevalence of peanut allergy was 13.7% in the group that had avoided the nuts and 1.9% in the group who had consumed them. Of the infants who had a reaction to peanuts at the beginning of the research, in the avoidance group 35.3% were allergic to peanuts by the end compared to 10.6% of the group eating peanuts. The research concludes that early introduction of peanuts significantly reduces the prevalence of an allergy. However, the NHS warns that there are potentially dangerous headlines about this research, which may lead parents to think that giving peanuts to their child with an allergy will get rid of the allergy. The NHS also warns that whole nuts can be a choking hazard to children under the age of 5.

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