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30 January 2014, 14:32
TV's Dr. Hilary Jones, and Emma Wileman founder of the charity Haydn's Wish, have visited Tideway School in Newhaven to launch their new campaign 'It's Best To Test' and talk to staff about the potentially lethal links between asthma and allergies.
Emma's son, Haydn, would have studied at Tideway, however; he tragically died, age 9, due to anaphylactic shock caused by the combination of asthma and an allergic reaction to peanuts.
" 'It's 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, that could indicate they are at risk of developing food allergies" said Dr. Hilary.
"The cause of one death every eight hours and a hospital admission in England every eight minutes, asthma, suffered by 5.4 million in the UK alone, is a major health issue all on its own. However, while most of us will know someone who suffers from asthma, we're far more likely to be in the dark about food allergies, let alone the links between the two.
"Yet the reality is that if you have a food allergy, you are four times more likely to have asthma too.
"In one survey, GPs owned up to having little faith in their own ability to work out which symptoms could be caused by food allergies. Making healthcare professionals sit up and take more notice of children whose additional symptoms point to food allergies is also the goal of the new campaign.
"Currently, too many worried parents have their concerns over their child's health dismissed or played down by healthcare professionals.
"The combination of poor training, and a lack of knowledge, adds up to potentially thousands of children going about their daily lives at home, at school and on holiday unaware of an underlying food allergy."
Hear our interview with Dr Hilary Jones
Dr Hilary Jones on Allergies
As well as talking to staff, Dr. Hilary also spoke to children about his job and some of the experiences he has had.
Emma said, "It has been great to get in a room with school staff and discuss the issue. Allergies really can be fatal and yet finding them just takes a simple test. If you have any concerns about your child, or family members, you should talk to your GP."
For more information on Haydn's Wish click here