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Be allergy aware

Australia has one of the highest incidences of food allergy in the world and this is increasing at an alarming rate; in fact, one in 10 babies born in Australia will develop a food allergy.

During Food Allergy Week each May, Australians are encouraged to be aware of food allergies and how they can help reduce the risk of a reaction for those living with food allergies.

Queensland’s Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett said symptoms of food allergy range from mild to severe; knowing what to do in an emergency situation can save another person’s life.

“A severe allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis, which is a medical emergency and must be treated as such,” Dr Bennett said.

“A person with an allergic reaction can experience symptoms such as swelling of lips, face, eyes, tongue or throat; difficulty breathing; hives on the skin; dizziness or collapse.

“If someone around you is having a severe allergic reaction, call 000 immediately and administer the persons’ EpiPen if available.”

Food Allergy Week aims to raise awareness about food allergy in Australia, to help manage potentially life-threatening emergencies when they happen.

It’s up to all Queenslanders to be allergy aware – to know how to minimise the risk of a reaction, what to do if a reaction happens and how to support family, friends and colleagues living with food allergies.

You can help people with allergies by:

  • understanding that allergies can be serious and life-threatening
  • providing ingredients for food that you have prepared for others if requested
  • encouraging children to not share food and drinks
  • educating  children that deliberately exposing other children to foods to which they are allergic is dangerous
  • taking steps to create a workplace that is safe for those with allergies
  • and taking the ASCIA ‘Anaphylaxis first aid’ e-training.

Food Allergy Week is an initiative of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, a charitable, not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve awareness of allergy through education, advocacy, and support.

Please visit Food Allergy Aware for more information about Food Allergy Week.

Media contact: +61 7 3234 1439

Last updated: 19 May 2017