Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergy is acute and severe with symptoms of immediate hypersensitivity. This allergy is very common, affecting 1% of preschoolers. The incidence has increased with succeeding generations, and is possibly due to the increasing exposure of children to peanuts at a young age. Diagnosis is via history, skin prick test, and serum IgE level. The mainstay of therapy is avoidance. Treatment of anaphylaxis includes epinephrine and antihistamines. Children usually will not outgrow this food allergy. Novel treatment with rush immunotherapy and enzyme-potentiated desensitization is not currently acceptable. We describe a 27-month-old Asian boy with a typical presentation of peanut hypersensitivity. A good understanding of the epidemiology of this illness is necessary for treatment and prevention.