Children with food allergies are not being invited to parties because their friends’ parents are terrified of killing them, new research suggests.
Some 54 per cent of mothers and fathers admit to banning youngsters with wheat or nut allergies from after-school events or celebrations, according to a UK survey of 2,000 adults.
Of those who are invited, 68 per cent have gone hungry due to their friends’ parents finding it to difficult to cater for their needs, the research adds.
Between five and eight per cent of children have a food allergy, of which 58 per cent have suffered a reaction and 60 per cent have been hospitalised as a result.
In severe cases, allergy sufferers can have a life-threatening anaphylactic shock, with symptoms including breathing difficulties, a fast heartbeat and loss of consciousness.
Children with food allergies are not being invited to parties because their friends’ parents are terrified of killing them, according to a new survey of 2,000 adults (stock)
‘Feeling excluded from social occasions is an unfortunate reality’
Results of the survey, which was conducted by ASDA, further suggest as many as 70 per cent of children with food allergies have felt excluded as a result.
The survey also revealed that 47 per cent of young allergy sufferers are unaware of what causes their reactions, while 26 per cent are too shy to admit to their allergies.
It is perhaps unsurprising that many parents are reluctant to cater for their children’s friends, with results further suggesting 43 per cent of allergic reactions occur in other people’s homes.
Of those who do provide food for children with allergies, 65 per cent admit it makes them feel anxious.
Amena Warner, head of clinical services at Allergy UK, said: ‘We understand the challenges families with food allergies face every day and feeling excluded from or at social occasions is an unfortunate reality.
‘There’s an immediate need to educate wider networks on how to cater for children with allergies to both alleviate anxieties, and protect the health and wellbeing of those with specific food requirements.’
Expert reveals how to administer an EpiPen
First-aid expert Emma Hammett has given advice on how to give an EpiPen if you suspect someone is having a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Ms Hammett said: ‘Auto-injectors save lives. It is an acute medical emergency and you need to act fast.’
In a video for The Hippocratic Post, Ms Hammett – founder and CEO of firstaidforlife.org.uk – talks you through how to successfully administer an EpiPen if you suspect someone is suffering a severe allergic reaction.
HOW DO YOU ADMINISTER AN EPIPEN?
According to the first-aid expert Emma Hammett, if you suspect someone is suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction and requires an EpiPen you should:
- Call 999 and tell them you suspect anaphylaxis
- Take the pen out of its container
- Give it a shake
- Take off the cap and hold the pen in your dominant hand
- Insert it in the upper, outer part of the thigh. This can be done through clothes if needed
- Hold it there for 10 seconds
- Remove the pen and give the area a rub
- If the patient is breathless, encourage them to sit up and bend their knees
- Lie them down and raise their legs if they are dizzy
- Stay calm and supportive
- Wait for paramedics to arrive