Best To Test health campaign in Lambeth - the link between asthma and allergies(1 Post)
TV Doctor Hilary Jones and Emma Wileman founder of Haydn’s Wish charity, visited St Martin-in-the-Fields High School in south London, as part of the ongoing health campaign to raise awareness of the link between asthma and allergies.
Emma’s son, Haydn, tragically died aged 9, due to anaphylactic shock caused by the combination of asthma and an allergic reaction to peanuts.
The campaign, ‘Best To Test’ in its second year, is designed to improve the diagnosis of allergies and how to treat them, which in turn could save lives.
Allergies trigger asthma exacerbations in 60-90% of children and 50% of adults with asthma (1). Patients with asthma plus allergy to peanuts or tree nuts are at an increased risk of fatal anaphylaxis (2). Around 1 in 12 children have a food allergy (3) and 1 in 70 children have a peanut allergy (4).
Last year ‘Best To Test’ set out to make the unknown known; spreading the word about allergies and its connection with asthma, the dangers and how to treat them to school children across the country.
“’Best To Test’ is urging parents, particularly of children with asthma, to seek help for tiny changes in their child’s symptoms, from patches of eczema to the onset of hay fever, which could indicate they’re at risk of developing a food allergy,’ says Dr. Hilary. ‘We also want to make teachers and pupils more aware so they can seek help and advice.’
As Dr. Hilary also highlights: ‘If you have a food allergy, you are four times more likely to have asthma.’
Asthma should not be treated lightly. Around 5.4 million people in the UK have asthma, of which 1.1 million are children. On average, every 21 minutes a child is admitted to A&E following an asthma attack. (5)
But too few are aware of the links between asthma and allergies.
Emma, Pride of Britain Award 2014 nominee said:
‘We knew Haydn was a severe asthmatic, but the peanut allergy came completely out of the blue. I, as a parent, had no idea what allergies were about and certainly didn’t realise the potential severity of them.’
‘As far as we are aware nothing could’ve been done to save Haydn after the reaction had happened, however, it doesn’t mean we can’t use his story to raise awareness and save others.’
Dr. Hilary Jones and Emma will continue to visit schools throughout the year across England, Scotland and Wales.
For more information visit www.haydns-wish.co.uk.
Haydn’s Wish is a registered charity based in Sussex. Charity No 1148505.
Best To Test is supported by an educational grant from Thermo Fisher Scientific
(1) Kelly WF, et al. Allergic and Environmental Asthma Overview of Asthma. 2012. Available from http:// emedicine.medscape.com/article/137501-overview; last accessed February 2015.
(2) Mintel Oxygen Reports. Not to be sneezed at- almost half of all Brits are allergy sufferers. 2010. Available from ?http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/press-releases/512/not-to-be-sneezed-at-almost-half-of-all-brits-are-allergy-sufferers: last accessed April 2013.
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