Peanut allergy

Peanut allergies in New Zealand and around the world have increased in regularity over the last couple of decades. The exact reason is unclear but the most likely culprit is our modern hygiene practices and use of antibiotics which may unbalance our body’s immunity, making us more vulnerable to bacterial infections and allergies.

  • Peanut allergy, like other types of food allergies, can illicit a range of reactions and in severe cases can result in anaphylaxis.
  • Most children with a peanut allergy will have a reaction as a result of consumption, but there are some children whose sensitivity means that they can react if they touch something bearing traces of peanut, or inhale particles of peanut.
  • If you suspect a peanut allergy in your child, you should consult a specialist who will advise on a skin prick test which will confirm the allergy.
  • While a peanut allergy is usually lifelong, many children experience a lessening of symptoms as they mature and a specialist can assist in effective management of the allergy.

Can I treat a peanut allergy?

  • Like all food allergies, the way to deal with them is to totally avoid the trigger foods.
  • If you suspect that your child is allergic to peanuts, consult your doctor immediately. As with most food allergies, repeated exposure to the trigger food can result in an increasing sensitivity resulting in stronger symptoms of an allergic reaction with each exposure.
  • To avoid triggering an allergic reaction, you will need to check all food labels. Many commercially made chocolate products and baked goods contain traces of peanuts despite the fact that they don’t appear to have peanuts in their main ingredients.
  • As all contact with peanuts is hard to avoid, you need to be prepared (and prepare your child) for the possibility of an allergic reaction. Formulate a plan of action with your specialist and make sure that your child understands the seriousness of her allergy.


  1. Shelz69 02/12/2018 at 8:26 am

    My children do not have allergies but my friends children all have them and one very severely. Its a real struggle they never have takeaway and eat out because its so easy for a mistake to happen. Epi pens are expensive and they always have to have one. They are hoping that the severity will wear off as the children get older but I feel for them with the constant worry and I know of people who just don’t understand what’s it like and don’t take peanut allergies serious and put lives at risk.

  2. Alezandra 01/12/2018 at 5:26 pm

    Coming from a country where peanut allergy is uncommon, and people don’t even bother to take notice of food prepared possibly with peanut oil or mixed with nuts. It have been good learning for me to be mindful. And when we had a birthday party, I made an effort to ask if people have allergies. It’s good to teach our young kids to know how important it is to be respectful of people with allergies.

  3. kymmage 30/11/2018 at 8:25 pm

    I’m so thankful that the only allergies we have are to medicine. Medicine is easier to avoid! Our school is nutfree and at first it was a little hard. My eldest only likes chocolate spread sammies and the spread without hazelnut was just not acceptable. But we got there. After a few months we worked out things she would eat and were nutfree and its fine.

  4. MuddledUpMolly 26/11/2018 at 3:05 pm

    It is good to see that peanut allergies are getting more attention and information out there to the public. It is a scary possibility for many people who suffer from these allergies, but the more people know the better. I am fortunate to have a family with no known allergies so far. I cannot begin to imagine how frightening it must be for those with severe allergies.

  5. dawnblyth 23/11/2018 at 10:37 am

    I recently heard in the news that they are talking earlier exposure, in smaller doses, may help certain allergies. Peanut allergies, from what I have heard, can be very severe and I am thankful my boys don’t have this allergy. My eldest son when he was younger had allergies to strawberries and kiwifruit – he has since grown out of those but he now has allergic reactions to two different kinds of antibiotics. These are now listed on his medical records – it is quite scary how quickly a reaction can come on and how it can affect a child.

  6. Jen_Wiig 22/11/2018 at 8:51 pm

    So true how there’s been an in real in peanut allergies I was in the schools sick bay last week with my primary aged son and there was at least 12 kids on the allergy board that had peanut allergies. I’ve been very lucky that none of my 3 boys have had allergies esp to something like peanuts at its extreme so many foods have that big black “may contain traces of nuts” or “made in a factory where peanuts present” on them would be so nerve wrecking as a parent and for the child.
    I’m allergic (have to have aderailine) to bee stings but at least it’s easy to steer clear of honey bees.

  7. SarahBlair 20/11/2018 at 11:15 pm

    Its surprising how bad peanut allergies actually are, there was a story in the news recently of a teenage girl who died of anaphylaxis because she ate a meal that had peanut in it. She had administered her Epipen but still passed, incredibly sad… Im glad that it’s not something that I have to worry about with my kids but it is alarmingly common these days!

  8. Shorrty4life1 20/11/2018 at 9:54 pm

    I went to a St John first aide course few weeks ago and learnt about people who are anafalactic. It sounds awfully scary. Peanut allergys are very common now. My children aren’t allowed peanuts in lunches at school. My hubby isn’t allowed peanuts in lunch at work. So much more common than It used to be

  9. Mands1980 10/11/2018 at 1:58 pm

    Peanut allergy’s sound scary we are going on school camp and have to take baking but ensuring there is no trace of peanuts as one of the children is allergic to them. Like any allergy it can happen so fast it would be terrible if you were on a plane I read about a lady so sensitive she could sense it in tiny particles very scary on a flight with her children but she remained calm for her children but her face swelled up.

  10. Bevik1971 07/11/2018 at 10:51 am

    My daughter doesn’t have a peanut allergy thankfully. She does eat peanut butter but not much in the way of whole nuts really. I really feel for parents with children who are seriously allergic though, must be difficult if you want to eat out etc. I would be taking food for my child if they were really at risk I think 🙂

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