Peanuts are a common food allergy and this allergy is caused when the immune system reacts to the protein found in peanuts. This allergy affects 1 in 50 children (around 2%) and in recent decades has been on the rise with more suffers developing this all the time. This is an allergy which usually first develops in early childhood but on some occasions can be known to develop in later life. Around 1 in 5 children who suffer from a peanut allergy will grow out of it (usually by age 5).
Peanuts are from a plant family categorised as ‘legumes’ and are different from other tree-nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts. Having a peanut allergy does not always mean you will have an allergy to these other tree-nuts however it is not uncommon to be allergic to both. An allergy to peanuts does also increase the likelihood to some of the other 14 major allergen groups such as sesame and lupin. It has also been found that infants with eczema or an egg allergy are more likely to also develop a peanut allergy.