Parents of children with allergy to tree nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, Brazils or cashew) have occasionally asked if their child would be likely to have an allergic reaction while playing with acorns.
The worldwide medical literature contains a few reports of people suffering severe allergic reactions after eating acorns. We are not aware of any research studies or case reports of allergic reactions associated with skin exposure to acorns in people with nut allergy.
Acorns belong to the plant family called Fagaceae. This family is different to those of tree nuts. The proteins that cause allergy in acorns are different to those that produce allergy to tree nuts or peanuts.
Our expert medical reviewer tells us: “I have seen vast numbers of children with nut and peanut allergies but none has ever reported reactions to playing with acorns.”
Our text has been peer-reviewed by Prof John Warner, Professor of Paediatrics and Head of Department, Imperial College.
All the information we produce is evidence based or follows expert opinion and is checked by our clinical and research reviewers. If you wish to know the sources we used in producing any of our information products, please let us know, and we will gladly supply details.
Publication date: December 2018
Review date: December 2021