Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. Peanuts can cause a severe, potentially fatal, allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Therefore it is advised that people with peanut allergy have quick access to an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®, Auvi-Q™ or Adrenaclick®) at all times. To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of peanut and peanut products is essential. Always read ingredient labels to identify peanut ingredients.
Allergy to peanuts appears to be on the rise in children. According to a FARE-funded study, the number of children in the U.S. with peanut allergy more than tripled between 1997 and 2008.1 Studies in the United Kingdom and Canada also showed a high prevalence of peanut allergy in schoolchildren.
Peanut allergies tend to be lifelong, although studies indicate that approximately 20 percent of children with peanut allergy do eventually outgrow their allergy. Younger siblings of children allergic to peanuts may be at increased risk for allergy to peanuts. Your doctor can provide guidance about testing for siblings.