By Dr. Paul Ehrlich
As someone who trained in pediatrics before I did my allergy fellowship, I take a long view of the process of growing up. I often tell people that as they approach puberty, children change in more ways than just the obvious ones.
Jared is a ten year old who came in today having had a long history of a peanut allergy. While at sleep-away camp, he inadvertently ate some peanut butter without a problem. Back at home his mom brought him in for testing, and it was negative. You would have thought he won the lottery. He leaped into the air shouting, “I love the smell of peanut butter.” (Smells like victory to me.)
He will try some at home. I really hope he is one of the 20% of children with peanut allergy who lose their sensitivity. (Kids outgrow other food allergies more frequently.) This raises a question: what does Mom do about the teen years? After years of hyper-vigilance, some mothers do have trouble adjusting. For more on this subject, see chapter 14 Asthma Allergies Children: a parent’s guide “Mom and the Rest of the Family.”