Children can be allergic to many different things, including animals (especially cats, horses and dogs), insect stings, plants (a particular plant, the pollen or grasses), dust, weather changes, food including (eggs, dairy and nuts), and chemicals (food colourings, soaps, detergents and perfumes).
Some allergies cause varying degrees of discomfort, with symptoms including tightness of breathing, sneezing, rashes and swellings of the affected area. However, some allergies are fatal
– causing sufferers to experience “anaphylaxis” or “anaphylactic shock” when they encounter the particular object. While bee stings, in particular, have been quite common and known causes of anaphylaxis for many years, in recent years there has been another cause of growing concern: food allergies.
The number of children in Australia and other countries who are appearing with food allergies is increasing so that there is an average of one child with an allergy in each school classroom, and researchers don’t know why.
Whatever the reason, however, the outcome is the same: growing numbers of children are allergic to foods such as peanuts and shellfish, which means that they, and the people with whom they
are in regular contact, must be careful not to bring them into contact with nuts.
Schools and other groups and now making sure teachers are trained to respond quickly if an allergic child seems to be having an anaphylactic attack. But if you, a friend or a teammate has an allergy attack, it’s important to know what to do.