Peanuts are notorious for causing allergic reactions in people: They're among the most common allergies, and ingestion is likelier to lead to death [source: AAFA]. The allergy is especially common in young children, which is why experts warn against allowing kids to eat peanuts. Although many children overcome their peanut allergy in just a few years, most don't, and they must struggle with it throughout their lives.
If you're allergic and accidentally ingest one, you could develop atopic dermatitis, hives, asthma or life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you're lucky, you might only experience minor irritation. However, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods. The next time you eat something with peanuts, it could cause a much more serious reaction.
Interestingly, a peanut isn't a nut -- it's a legume. Next, we'll talk about nut allergies.