Whats Happenening Locally

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Feb 09, 2024

Parents of school-aged children are undoubtedly familiar with the notion of "nut-free" classrooms and cafeterias, which typically indicates educators have declared school grounds off limits for peanuts and peanut butter. The prevalence of such environments may suggest peanut allergies have increased in recent years, and while that might be true, it's also not necessarily so.

In fact, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology notes that awareness about peanut allergy has risen in recent years. And while a 2017 study found that incidence rates of peanut allergy had increased by 21 percent since 2010, that could be a byproduct of heightened awareness of peanut allergy and not necessarily indicative that considerably more individuals are now allergic to peanuts.

Recognition of that reality may make some people pause before they dismiss peanut allergy, which the ACAAI notes can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening response to an allergen marked by impaired breathing, swelling in the throat and a sudden drop in blood pressure, among other symptoms.