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A Tsuang, ES Chan and J Wang
Abstract
Previous guidance on infant anaphylaxis largely relied on data from older children and adults. Infants are a unique subgroup, which presents specific challenges because infants are unable to verbalize symptoms, although the magnitude of underrecognition is not well studied. Data show that strict avoidance of allergens is difficult to achieve in the infant age group and a source of stress and anxiety for their caregivers. Recent studies suggest that infant anaphylaxis is less severe than in older children, which could greatly assist with implementation of food allergy prevention and treatment. New evidence from clinical trials and observational and real-world studies show that infant anaphylaxis is rare on first ingestion of a new food and typically not severe when it occurs, which parents may not be aware of when preparing to introduce peanut or other common food allergens to infants for the purpose of prevention. The better safety and efficacy of oral immunotherapy in infants and preschoolers could help prevent undesired psychosocial consequences of longstanding food allergy such as anxiety, bullying, and poor quality of life. Evidence from recent years on the lower risk of infant anaphylaxis and its severity could move allergy practice toward the confidence that regular, long-term ingestion provides.
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