A peanut allergy is a type of food allergy caused by the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). Children who suffer from peanut allergies have an abnormal response to the proteins that are found in peanuts and peanut products (e.g., peanut butter). Today, approximately 30,000 children in metro Atlanta are affected by a peanut allergy.
What causes a peanut allergy?
While the exact cause of a peanut allergy is unclear at this time, studies have suggested a complex set of genetic, environmental and other factors may play a role.
What are symptoms of a peanut allergy?
While symptoms vary by child and can range from mild to severe, the most common symptoms of a peanut allergy include:
- Rash, hives or swelling
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea or stomach cramps
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing or tightening of throat
- Anaphylaxis (a serious, potentially life-threatening reaction)
How do I know if my child is allergic to peanuts?
If you think your child may be allergic to peanuts, see a pediatric allergist. At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, your child may be diagnosed with a peanut allergy through a process that involves a careful medical history, a physical exam by one of our providers, and allergy testing, such as a skin or blood test or an oral food challenge.
What do I do if my child is allergic to peanuts?
There is currently no cure for peanut allergies. If your child is allergic to peanuts, he should avoid peanuts and peanut products to prevent an allergic reaction. Peanuts can be found in many food items, so it is very important to read food labels to see if peanuts are included in the list of ingredients. Your child should also carry an epinephrine auto-injector device (e.g., EpiPen or AUVI-Q) at all times.
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While there is currently no cure for peanut allergies, researchers across the country and around the world, including Brian Vickery, MD, Director of the Food Allergy Program at Children’s, have been studying a variety of new therapies for peanut and other food allergies. Because of this groundbreaking research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, for the first time, a peanut allergy treatment for eligible children and teens in January 2020.
The new treatment, called Palforzia, is an oral immunotherapy (OIT) for children ages 4 to 17 with a confirmed peanut allergy. The goal of this treatment is to desensitize children to accidental exposure to peanuts. It is not a cure.
We have entered into an exciting time when emerging research is looking to transform the lives of children living with food allergies. At Children’s, we are committed to searching for new treatments for kids, teens and young adults with peanut allergies through clinical trials and offering our patients access to new treatments as they become available through our routine clinical care.
How has Children’s contributed to peanut allergy research?
Dr. Vickery led the international Phase 3 clinical trial that studied Palforzia. This study was one of the largest clinical trials ever conducted in food immunotherapy. Children’s administered the first dose of the new FDA-approved peanut allergy OIT for pediatric patients in 2020.
What peanut allergy clinical trials are offered at Children’s?
Information about our current clinical trials, including trial descriptions and eligibility criteria, can be found on our research web page. You may also call 404-785-6448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
How can I sign my child up to participate in a food allergy clinical trial?
If you are interested in registering your child as a potential participant, email our team at email@example.com or complete our form. Note: This registration form only indicates your interest. It is not a binding commitment.
What other types of food allergy research activities are taking place at Children's?
- Social and psychological burdens: Food allergies can be very stressful for families. Dr. Vickery and his team are conducting studies to better understand the social and psychological burdens caused by food allergies in order to develop better solutions to address these burdens.
- Share your experience: As a FARE Center of Distinction, our team encourages interested families to get involved by sharing your experiences with the national FARE Patient Registry. The registry helps researchers better understand food allergies and their impact, reveals opportunities to improve the care food allergy patients receive, and powers the search for new ways to diagnose, treat and ultimately cure food allergies.
Children with peanut allergies are treated within our Food Allergy Program which is located at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Atlanta.
Center for Advanced Pediatrics
1400 Tullie Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329