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The Peanut Section

Managing Peanut Allergy

peanutsThe only current treatment for this allergy is to avoid all traces of peanuts and peanut butter or other peanut-containing products. If your allergic child (or you) eats peanut with a known allergy, the drug epinephrine (adrenaline) will be needed to halt the reaction. But using the epinephrine auto-injector is an emergency situation only, it’s not a treatment.

This is why “avoidance” is the operative word for managing a peanut allergy. However, this isn’t as simple or easy as that one word suggests.

Now it may be obvious not to eat a peanut butter cookie, but many sources of peanut are not obvious. For example, peanut may be used in making egg rolls. You must also be aware of cross-contamination in kitchens – which occurs from using shared pans (the wok used for those egg rolls) or a peanut-butter-coated knife that’s thrust into a jam jar, leaving residue. There can also be issues of traces of peanuts in packaged or baked goods.

For a parent or person dealing with a newly diagnosed peanut allergy, getting used to looking out for peanut can feel overwhelming. But once you get the hang of some basics, you’ll find that peanut allergy is quite manageable. It just requires knowledge, sticking to certain rules  and a new level of vigilance around food.

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.