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Peanut Allergies: Causes, Symptoms and First Aid

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Developing an allergy is common, and people have allergies to various things. However, food-related allergies usually escalate fast and could prove fatal if left untreated. Peanut is one such food that triggers allergies in many people. No one can distinguish the age at which this allergy may start, but you must stay very cautious once you have it. The reaction to peanut allergy irritates the entire body and proves traumatic to children. Read on to learn more about this allergy and its causes. You will also learn about the symptoms and first aid needed to help someone with peanut allergy.

What is a peanut Allergy?

A peanut allergy is a food-related allergic reaction some people get when they eat peanuts. They could also develop a reaction by using products containing peanut oil. Some people have mild allergies, while others may react severely to eating peanuts. There is a scientific reason behind this type of allergy.

What causes Peanut allergy?

Peanut allergy occurs when the body’s immune system wrongly sees proteins in peanuts as harmful. Multiple genetic misses in the human body cause this allergic reaction. Sometimes, a baby’s immune system reacts strongly to peanut proteins, triggering allergy. Avoiding peanuts and products containing them is critical for people with this hypersensitive reaction, preventing reactions. While researchers find ways to save you from allergic reactions, vigilance, and hypersensitive reaction awareness can help you deal with and avoid the severity of peanut allergy.

Who is at Risk for Peanut Allergy?

People with a circle of relatives with records of peanut allergy face a higher chance of developing this issue. Babies with eczema, a skin condition, are at an increased risk of peanut allergy. Exposure to peanuts early could change how a child’s body processes this protein. Infants and babies cannot digest peanut protein; hence, their bodies could develop a life-long allergy to it. The parents of kids with recognized allergies must stay aware. However, regardless of the family history, anyone can develop hypersensitivity to peanuts. You must look for signs and symptoms of this allergy and head to the primary health center immediately. 

Signs and Symptoms of Peanut Allergy

Any form of allergy shows typical signs in the human body. Peanut allergy is no different, and you can identify it with the below signs: 

  • Skin Reactions: You may develop hives, redness, or swelling after eating peanuts. The hives usually grow at a rapid speed.
  • Digestive Issues: Most people develop stomach pain, cramps, or diarrhea. Some may feel fluctuant and uneasy as well.
  • Breathing Problems: Wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing are common allergy symptoms. However, in peanut allergy, the wheezing progresses rapidly and could cause anaphylaxis. This reaction usually causes a runny nose as well.
  • Throat Tightness: People with this allergy feel strangulated from throat tightness.
  • Swelling: A classic sign of peanut allergy is the swelling of the victim’s face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If someone shows these signs after consuming peanuts or meals containing peanuts, it may be a peanut allergic reaction. You must call 911 immediately and try to administer first aid.

Peanut Allergy Risk Factors

People who do not know of their allergies are at higher risk of casualties. Toddlers in daycare or children during a picnic could eat food containing peanuts. It could lead to severe reactions, often causing death. Without active treatment, anaphylaxis could cause death. Even a tiny amount can cause severe effects for people with severe peanut allergy. If you know your loved ones suffer from this issue, always have an epinephrine portable-injector. You must explain your children’s situation to the daycare and school to ensure any unforeseen incidents receive active first aid.

First aid for reaction from peanut allergy

If you happen to witness someone developing a peanut allergy, follow the below first aid steps to save their life:

  • Call 911: Dial 911 immediately and ask them to reach the site quickly.
  • Administer Epinephrine: If you have one, use an epinephrine auto-injector to reduce allergy symptoms. Ensure you give this on the victim’s outer thigh muscle.
  • Lay Down: Help the victim lie down, and keep calm as others move away and give space for the victim to breathe.
  • Monitor Breathing: Watch their respiratory and heart vitals. Keep them under surveillance till the emergency medical team arrives and report everything in detail. 
  • Comfort: Keep them calm and comfortable by raising their legs.
  • No Oral Medication: Don’t give any oral medicines, water, or meals. Anything taken orally after the onset of the reaction can further cause throat constriction, resulting in anaphylaxis.
  • Stay with Them: Stay with the victims and assure them of their well-being till the experts arrive.
  • Inform Medical Professionals: Provide details of the hypersensitivity and the epinephrine injection when medical assistance arrives. Also, enquire if the food had peanuts or any other ingredient that could trigger an allergic reaction.

Read More: What To Do When Someone Is Choking On Water?


Knowing the peanut allergy signs and symptoms is critical as anyone could develop this illness. As a parent or a lay responder, you must have first-hand knowledge of first aid for peanut allergies to help people in need. Your mindfulness and skills could mean life and death for someone.