Lancashire TelegraphDarwen boy's nut allergy nightmare (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Darwen boy's nut allergy nightmare

Lancashire Telegraph: Lucas Tomlinson, centre, with mum Leanne, left, and head teacher Alison Howarth Lucas Tomlinson, centre, with mum Leanne, left, and head teacher Alison Howarth

A six-year-old boy’s family have been warned his nut allergy is so strong just the smell of them could kill him.

Lucas Tomlinson has an allergy so severe he breaks out in a whole body rash and struggles to breathe if he goes near a nut. As a drastic measure to protect the boy, whose allergy is one of the worst in the country, his school has banned parents from allowing any snacks and meals containing nuts to be brought in.

A care plan has also been compiled with teachers at St Barnabas CE Primary School, Darwen, his parents, and school nurses to minimise any risk.

And all staff have also been trained how to recognise early signs of anaphylactic shock, caused by a severe allergic reaction, and give life-saving treatment.

When Lucas was diagnosed, doctors tested his tolerance to allergies and discovered he had a RAST (radioallergosorbent) measure of 511. The normal range is 0 to 50.

Dr Tom Smith, Lancashire Telegraph columnist, said: “Anything over 100 means a person is dangerously sensitive to an allergy. Lucas’ score is very high.

“The school is taking sensible and correct steps and precautions. It’s not much of a sacrifice for the children to make for the sake of their school fellow.”

Lucas’s mum, Leanne Glover, 26, said: “His allergy is airborne. If he smells nuts his eyes start stinging, he goes bright red and struggles to breath.

“The doctors say he cannot eat anything that says it was produced in a factory where nuts are handled, or may contain traces of specific nuts, such as peanuts or almonds.

“Even food in packaging which says may contain traces of nuts, which is almost everything, carries a risk for him.”

She said Lucas first had a reaction aged 18 months when he was near a bowl of cashew nuts.

Leanne, from Darwen, said: “He went red from head to toe and we had to call an ambulance because he was struggling to breathe.”

He was diagnosed after having an anaphylactic shock from eating a raisin from a fruit and nut selection aged three.

Lucas’ mum said: “Allergies can be fatal. People don’t realise how seriously an allergy can affect someone and until you see the effect people just assume sufferers are being overcautious.

“Lucas is very aware of the consequences because he knows how it feels to go into anaphylactic shock. He is very cautious and checks if there’s nuts in things before eating them.

“Unlike some conditions, there are no sections for people with nut allergies in supermarkets. Nuts are in almost everything. I spend most of my time reading the back of food packaging.

“Lucas has packed lunches at school so I know what he is eating.

“But it’s hard to leave him at school every day, even though the staff are very supportive.

“If he has an attack he has to have an anti-histamine tablet immediately, and he has an asthma inhaler in case his airways start to close. He has two epi pens at home and at school, but thankfully we have never had to use them.”

Epipens contain a single dose of epinephrine, which is injected into the thigh.

Alison Howarth, headteacher at St Barnabas CE Primary School, said allergies were a growing concern in schools and taken very seriously.

She said: “More and more children are suffering from allergies.

“Nut allergies are dominant, but it’s much wider than that. Other pupils are allergic to latex gloves, eggs, plasters, penicillin and plums.”

Roger Eakhurst, assistant director responsible for school meals in Lancashire, said a care plan was written for each child with an allergy.

“Our staff sit down with the school and the family, and sometimes a dietician, to find out how serious the allergy is and what can be done.

“We also work with the school to carry out an assessment to pinpoint the risks and when they’re likely to occur.

“We do not use nuts as a basic ingredient. However, ingredients that come into our kitchens often carry a disclaimer that they may carry slight traces of nuts, for example, which makes it impossible to give an absolute guarantee to those pupils who have the most severe allergies.”

Allergies and symptoms

  • An allergy is a sensitivity to a normally harmless substance.
  • Mild allergies like hay fever are very common. Symptoms include red eyes, itchiness, runny nose, eczema, hives, or an asthma attack.
  • Severe allergies can cause life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis.
  • In the past 10 years the number of children with peanut allergies has nearly doubled.
  • One in 70 UK children are thought to suffer from peanut allergy.
  • Around 80 per cent of children diagnosed will have the allergy for life.
  • Peanuts and tree nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts) are the foods most likely to provoke a reaction.
  • The initial reaction is swelling and itching of the mouth and throat. A raised itchy rash then spreads over the whole body, blood pressure drops and the victim collapses and loses consciousness.
  • Anaphylaxis in adults tend to affect blood circulation, with loss of pressure and shock.
  • Children tend to develop wheezing and fatal airway obstruction.

Comments (14)

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11:33am Wed 6 Feb 13

useyourhead says...

I hope he grows out of it, stay safe young man.
-
great support from the school too.
I hope he grows out of it, stay safe young man. - great support from the school too. useyourhead
  • Score: 1

12:03pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jimpy0 says...

Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case.
Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case. jimpy0
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Wed 6 Feb 13

useyourhead says...

jimpy0 wrote:
Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case.
Any parent who does kick off about it is sending their own children a very bad message about caring, tolerance and community spirit, I hardly think they will miss the presence of nuts in school, far more likely to be damaged watching their friend swell up and die in class.
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case.[/p][/quote]Any parent who does kick off about it is sending their own children a very bad message about caring, tolerance and community spirit, I hardly think they will miss the presence of nuts in school, far more likely to be damaged watching their friend swell up and die in class. useyourhead
  • Score: 1

1:01pm Wed 6 Feb 13

milano says...

jimpy0 wrote:
Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case.
There won't be a kick back because all the parents of children at the school understand the necessity of the ban. The ban is not totally unacceptable - ignoring this ban is totally unacceptable. You cannot make a comparison with a wool / polyester allergy as that is not potentially life threatening. That is being flippant. Lucas has to face enough restrictions in his life due to his allergy and has the right to be educated in a safe environment. Other children not taking snacks and lunches containing nuts into school is not going to deprive the other children of anything major but could deprive Lucas of life.
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: Although a PITA for the boy concerned, just wait till one of the other parents kicks back as a total school ban is wholly unacceptable would it be the same it it was a wool or polyester allergy - The HRA is an abomination but can be cited in this case.[/p][/quote]There won't be a kick back because all the parents of children at the school understand the necessity of the ban. The ban is not totally unacceptable - ignoring this ban is totally unacceptable. You cannot make a comparison with a wool / polyester allergy as that is not potentially life threatening. That is being flippant. Lucas has to face enough restrictions in his life due to his allergy and has the right to be educated in a safe environment. Other children not taking snacks and lunches containing nuts into school is not going to deprive the other children of anything major but could deprive Lucas of life. milano
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Wed 6 Feb 13

ossym says...

Is it wise to publish to the world this boys identity and medical vulnerabilities???!!
!

What purpose does it serve, except maybe bolster the so called public "interest" angle of the LT.

I wish the boy all the best and hope he recovers some time soon.
Is it wise to publish to the world this boys identity and medical vulnerabilities???!! ! What purpose does it serve, except maybe bolster the so called public "interest" angle of the LT. I wish the boy all the best and hope he recovers some time soon. ossym
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jimpy0 says...

If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off.
If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off. jimpy0
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jimpy0 says...

how is it inclusion when all barr one are excluded
how is it inclusion when all barr one are excluded jimpy0
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Wed 6 Feb 13

useyourhead says...

jimpy0 wrote:
how is it inclusion when all barr one are excluded
who is the one?
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: how is it inclusion when all barr one are excluded[/p][/quote]who is the one? useyourhead
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Wed 6 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

It's the use of the word 'banned' that is problematic here. If everyone had been requested not to bring nuts to school and had the reason explained, no reasonable person would insist on their 'right' to eat nuts near this young boy.
It's the use of the word 'banned' that is problematic here. If everyone had been requested not to bring nuts to school and had the reason explained, no reasonable person would insist on their 'right' to eat nuts near this young boy. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Wed 6 Feb 13

mother of 4 says...

my child goes to the school and i back them wholeheartedly!!!! i would not like the death of a child on my conscience if it can be prevented. As he gets older he will learn how to control his condition himself and make his own choices so should not affect him in later life.
my child goes to the school and i back them wholeheartedly!!!! i would not like the death of a child on my conscience if it can be prevented. As he gets older he will learn how to control his condition himself and make his own choices so should not affect him in later life. mother of 4
  • Score: 1

6:27pm Wed 6 Feb 13

milano says...

If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off.

Well that would make you look a right prat. Hes a six year old little boy for goodness sake. parents at the school were informed of the consquencies and all are respecting this. How would you feel if this was your child with this allergy.
If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off. Well that would make you look a right prat. Hes a six year old little boy for goodness sake. parents at the school were informed of the consquencies and all are respecting this. How would you feel if this was your child with this allergy. milano
  • Score: 1

9:22pm Wed 6 Feb 13

jack daniels says...

jimpy0 wrote:
If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off.
its not the rest of society, it's a school. stop being so dramatic.

Seriously, you'd kick off? Over the restriction of a bag of nuts or a snickers?

Give the boy the chance to live a normal life, it's not too hard, even for a few school kids
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: If he doesnt grow out of it lets see how prospective employers and his fellow adults feel about being denied nuts etc. There was a time when he would wear a mask and gloves etc but now the rest of society is forced to submit to 1 or a few - and if i had a child at that school i WOULD be one kicking off.[/p][/quote]its not the rest of society, it's a school. stop being so dramatic. Seriously, you'd kick off? Over the restriction of a bag of nuts or a snickers? Give the boy the chance to live a normal life, it's not too hard, even for a few school kids jack daniels
  • Score: 2

3:37pm Thu 7 Feb 13

usinganame says...

I'm so glad some of the 'commentators' on thèse pages aren't my neighbours. To the Telegraph. Is it not time you investigated some of the User accounts registered to your site as it appears plenty are sock accounts. Which is why I am so glad many aren't my neighbours.
I'm so glad some of the 'commentators' on thèse pages aren't my neighbours. To the Telegraph. Is it not time you investigated some of the User accounts registered to your site as it appears plenty are sock accounts. Which is why I am so glad many aren't my neighbours. usinganame
  • Score: 0

9:54am Sun 3 Mar 13

usinganame says...

See this story is top five most shared again. Isn't it time the residents of Gordon Street publicly owned up to what they did. Along with a good portion of the town. How about the fact some of the residents of that street blatantly ask for prescription drugs at Boots but don't want their child to see a doctor first? Why is that? Got something to hide.

How they criminally hounded someone? How they continue to abuse intimidate and threaten? You are trash. Garbage.
See this story is top five most shared again. Isn't it time the residents of Gordon Street publicly owned up to what they did. Along with a good portion of the town. How about the fact some of the residents of that street blatantly ask for prescription drugs at Boots but don't want their child to see a doctor first? Why is that? Got something to hide. How they criminally hounded someone? How they continue to abuse intimidate and threaten? You are trash. Garbage. usinganame
  • Score: 0

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