Plea to parents over schoolgirl s peanut allergy
An allergic reaction has ruined a Victorian girl’s first day of prep school.

Little Amelie had a very severe allergic reaction after playing with another child who had been in contact with nuts.

The little girl developed a terribly swollen and puffy face – a common symptom of nut allergies – and was sent home early on her first day of school.

A photo of Amelie’s reaction has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook. The pic is above.

Natalie Giorgio

13 year old Natalie Giorgio died after eat a Rice cookie made with peanut butter

Amelie’s mother has urged parents to stop packing nuts in lunch-boxes amid fears a child will die. It is a call we are glad to back, for reasons that will become clear. Her mum said;

“Amelie is anaphylactic to peanuts and although she didn’t eat her fellow students peanuts, simply played with another child who had snacked on peanuts during lunch,” she said in a warning to parents on Facebook.

“Peanut oil stays on the skin and is easily rubbed into the eyes or mouth. A simple sharing of pencils or a game of ring-a-rosy is all you need to pass on the nut oil. I sympathise with parents of children who are allergy free, that it’s difficult to remember not to pack nut-based snacks for school. But please, this message is from one of those annoying parents of a child with anaphylaxis, because I don’t want my child to die. Like Amelie, who loves to eat all nuts / tree nuts (just not peanuts) perhaps this very nutritious snack of nuts is better left for home.”

Amelie has since, thankfully, made a full recovery. But it could have been terrifyingly worse.

Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

Just half a cookie made with peanut oil killed 19-year-old Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

As you can see from the cases quoted here, allergies can be murderous at any age. As our family knows all too well.

In the Wellthisiswhatithink world, Ms Wellthisiswhatithink Jnr was born 1,000 times more allergic to egg than the average human being. For her entire life thus far, at least until the allergy started ebbing away somewhat thanks to the attention of a naturopath – read that amazing story here – her mother and I – and her, herself, of course – have had to exercise rigorous vigilance to prevent her ingesting even tiny amounts of egg that could kill her.

She goes everywhere, even to this day, with an Epi-pen to deal with any anaphylactic attack.

But that wouldn’t be too hard, would it, avoiding egg?

Cookies, breads, scones, wine that’s been clarified with egg white, cakes, cake topping, fudge, pies, ice cream, protein drinks, pastries, pancakes, custard, crackers, mayonnaise, sauces, fried rice, egg noodles … I could (and nearly did) go on, but you get the point …

(And try explaining it to an “ethnic” non-English speaking restaurant’s waiting staff, just quietly … we got quite skilled at that.)

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted two years ago by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Sale, Greater Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

Nut allergies are more common than egg, especially peanuts. It really seems very sensible for schools to ask parents to avoid putting them in kids’ lunch boxes. it’s a tiny dietary imposition which could well save lives.

If you agree that nuts should be kept out of lunch boxes, may I suggest you write to your local school? And if you’ve got kids at school, just adopt the restriction yourself, of course? Sure, it’s mildly annoying, but not as annoying as a dead kid.

Amelie, and many others, will thank you.

If ordering take away food, be damn sure you state “no peanuts” explicitly if you need to. Research shows they are often substituted for other, more expensive nuts, such as almonds. And if someone passes you a snack, just politely refuse unless you can read the packet.

Meanwhile, here’s an excellent resource for parents: http://www.allergyfacts.org.au/

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Comments
  1. Tony Ising says:

    Yolly, very hard to comment on this without getting emotional, having sat through my 9 year old’s latest skin prick test literally this morning. She is still anaphylactic to eggs, dairy, nuts and kiwifruit. SHE DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE THIS WAY. She loves food and is not fussy and does not deserve the hand she’s been dealt.

    I plead to all parents to be careful when packing school lunches. This is not the new “RSI”. Allergies are not a fad. Our kids are too young to police themselves.

    Interested in your daughter’s treatment. Open to all options.

    Like

  2. Simon O says:

    Our school does not allow any form of ‘nuts’ in any food brought into the school and most parents (even me) are aware and do not pack ‘peanuts’ – in any way, shape or form – but the reality is some food manufacturers often ‘hide’ the contents – and the only way to safeguard kids at risk is for teachers to check each lunch (unions wouldnt allow it)….so not sure how this one plays out

    Like

  3. paul says:

    Interesting stuff but I will never forget settling down for a G&T and a bag of nuts on a flight when the stewardess announced over the PA that nuts would not be served due to one person on the full flight having an allergy.

    Like

  4. Regarding eggs – you also don’t dare get a flu shot if you have egg allergy. It’s even more dangerous than eating them. I know this is gross, but something you eat your stomach acid has a go at first, but an injection goes straight into your muscle or blood stream.

    Regarding peanuts – they are NOT a nut but a legume with a nut-like texture, especially when roasted. Yes, many are allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts (I fortunately am not), but more are allergic to both peanut and soy (that’s me).

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  5. tulipels says:

    Be old-fashioned, don’t buy prepackaged food,make a sandwich, put in a piece of fruit, and hey presto lunch is done, not that hard is it??

    Like

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