Allergy progam safely introduces peanuts to infants

A woman holds a young baby. A man and woman dressed as clown doctors are standing next to them
Huxley and his mum Jasmin with clown doctors Dr Dippy and Dr Larry Kin.
March 9, 2018

Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) is recruiting children less than 12 months old for a new service to safely introduce peanuts to infants.

The Promoting Introduction to Prevent Peanut Allergy (PIPPA) Project’s Clinical Research Coordinator, Jessica Metcalfe, said introducing peanuts to high risk infants before 12 months of age reduced the risk of developing a peanut allergy.

“New feeding guidelines released by the Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy recommend the introduction of peanut (and other allergenic foods) in the first 12 months.”

Participants are invited to attend one PIPPA clinic to feed their baby peanut butter for the first time with the support of nurses and doctors.

“So far 75 babies have come through the clinic and we are looking for about 300 more families to participate in the project,” Jessica said.

“Children may be eligible to take part if they are less than 12 months of age, have never eaten peanut before, and have one or more risk factor for the development of peanut allergy.

“These risk factors include eczema, allergy to a food other than peanut, a sibling with a food allergy, or two or more first-degree relatives with any allergic disease (eczema, asthma, hay fever or food allergy).”

Clown doctors visit the clinics to sing to and entertain the babies, creating a fun, safe and supported environment.

To get involved in this program at FSH or Princess Margaret Hospital, email or phone 0402 525 979.