HALF of children and under-18s now have one or more allergies, according to a new report by the charity Allergy UK.
Young Jake Price of Poole has more than most, for not only is he allergic to house dust, he also has a potentially life-threatening allergy to eggs and nuts.
But his mother Gemma, who lives with her five-year-old son in Poole, says she has had to battle to get her son’s condition taken seriously.
“It’s only because I have a history of allergies that I kept pushing for him to have a supervised nut trial at Poole Hospital.
“At first I was told I should do a trial at home because earlier tests hadn’t shown anything, but it’s a good job I didn’t because my son turned out to have a potentially fatal reaction, so he could have died if I had been at home.”
Gemma says her son has been rushed to hospital on several occasions because of his allergies and she is now keen to raise more awareness.
She says she always has to be on her guard and Jake always has to carry his medical kit of Epipens, inhalers and antihistamine.
“When he gets invited to parties I have to make him a packed lunch so I know what he is eating is safe, his school have gone above and beyond to make sure he is safe at school and catered for.
“Even an event like trick or treating is hard because if he gets something he is allergic too I have to take it off him which is horrible to do and because of his dust allergy I have to deep clean his room once a week washing everything, bedding, curtains, teddies.
“It also means that we can’t have a pet either which is sad as Jake would love to have a dog.”
Most common reactions
Allergic reactions vary from mild to severe.
In some cases they can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment.
The most common allergies are: Pollen House dust mites Mould Wasps and bees Pets Industrial chemicals Foods such as milk, nuts and eggs.