Safety note: Many parents strongly objected to this hack (see comments) and pointed out that it could lead to a dangerous situation if the child is indeed allergic to peanuts. I posted this hack for vetting by the group, and the majority say it’s unsafe. It’s worth reminding everyone that Parent Hacks is not a place to get definitive medical advice. If you are concerned about any kind of food allergy, work closely with your pediatrician.
Thank you to all who commented. I learned a lot. — Ed.
This idea came to me while talking with a friend who wasn’t sure if her son was allergic to peanuts. His blood tests were inconclusive and the pediatrician said that the only way they’ll know for sure is if he has a reaction.
I suggested to my friend that they give him the peanut sample at the doctor’s office at his next well visit. Next to the ER, that’s probably the best place to be if you’re having a reaction, right? So then I got to thinking that any parent could do this at the appropriate well visit (I plan to when my son turns one).
A few things to think about:
- The peanut sample would need to be super-confined so as not to leave peanut contaminants in the doctor’s office (maybe give the sample in the car before you go in? Something like a Peanut M&M or a Ritz cracker sandwich thing?)
- If I’m not mistaken, it’s not always the initial peanut exposure that leads to problems, it’s the second one. So maybe give the first taste the night before?
I’d be curious to hear what the parents of peanut-allergic kids think of this idea.