Anaphylaxis and allergy - what can you do?

With numbers of sufferers rising, it's a serious public health issue which can have severe and even fatal consequences.

And before you say it doesn't affect you, statistics indicate that, with 1 in 20 children suffering from food allergies.

Chances are every play group, preschool and school class has a child with the condition.

A poll we ran revealed that 95 percent of mums understood that food allergies can be life threatening yet, nearly half of those who had children at supposed‘nut free' schools/daycares/preschools, were not religious about sticking to the policy.

In addition, around half were unsure what the signs of a severe allergic reaction were and uncertain of what to do if a child had a severe allergic reaction. Nearly 70 percent had not heard of and/or could not use the lifesaving adrenaline auto injector, EpiPen.

Maria Said, President of Anaphylaxis Australia, a non-profit Australian charity with a mission to increase awareness of anaphylaxis through education, research and support, said these statistics are concerning but there are small things we can all do to help.

"We've got the awareness - mums realise it's a serious condition - but this FAAAW we want everyone to apply that awareness into everyday life so we can all help make our communities safer for people with severe allergies," she said.

Things you can do to help:

 

  • Find out about your child's school/preschool/daycare food policies. Your school should be able to guide you with a list of restricted foods. Or you can visit www.allergyfacts.org.au for help. Always stick to the safety strategies that have been implemented - yes, they do make a difference! Remember, no one chooses to have food allergies so enjoy those restricted treats at other times.
  • Anaphylaxis first aid - If you do a first aid course, make sure it involves education on triggers, symptoms, first aid procedures and daily management of severe allergies, as well as hands-on training in the use of the EpiPen; otherwise

  • Take 5 min - take a look at the Anaphylaxis Fact Sheet and Action Plan to familiarise yourself with the symptoms and first aid to treat anaphylaxis including the use of EpiPen. Every second counts and, like CPR, you never know when you just might need it..
"Mums were virtually unanimous (99 percent of those surveyed) in calling for compulsory education of all school, pre-school and childcare staff on recognition and emergency treatment of severe allergy - and that's something Anaphylaxis Australia is working hard to achieve," Maria said.

For more information on severe allergies, anaphylaxis or what you can do to help create a safer environment for kids and adults with severe allergies, please visit www.allergyfacts.org.au or email Anaphylaxis Australia at coordinator@allergyfacts.org.au
 
Banner