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ST. LOUIS – A thousand medical professionals gasped when they heard the results of a study on why peanut allergies have tripled since 1997.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that parents introduce peanut products to their baby as a means of reducing the development of an allergy. Doing so can lower the risk of developing peanut allergies by 80 percent.

An estimated 400,000 school-aged children in the United States have this allergy.

Lila Kertz, an allergy nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, visits Fox 2 News in the Morning to discuss the study and what it could mean for families.