Lifestyle

Food allergies like time bomb

ON GUARD: Issac Hughan, 3 of Goonellabah, who has a peanut allergy, gets his lunch made by mum Sharon Williams.
ON GUARD: Issac Hughan, 3 of Goonellabah, who has a peanut allergy, gets his lunch made by mum Sharon Williams. Marc Stapelberg

THREE-year-old Issac Hughan is such a happy and healthy young boy that finding out his body has a collection of severe allergies comes as a shock.

If he simply touches eggs or peanuts and happens to rub his eyes, his body would trigger a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction within seconds.

Yet Issac's condition is becoming more and more common.

The latest estimates are that three in every 100 children, or almost one in every classroom, has a severe peanut or egg allergy.

Issac was just four months old when he broke out in eczema after mum Sharon Williams ate a cheese souffle, then kissed him on the cheek.

"He had eczema practically head to toe ... his face was a mess, under his little fat spots behind his legs were absolutely a mess ... I'd kiss him good night and he'd break out the next morning," Ms Williams said.

An allergist subsequently confirmed Issac suffered from wide-ranging allergies including a severe sensitivity to eggs and nuts.

He now carries a life-saving adrenaline injector, or epipen, in case of emergencies, and wears a bracelet identifying his allergy.

"We expect a lot of the little fella… he's only three and a half. You don't usually expect a kid of that age to be so aware of what they can and can't eat," his father Dustin said.

"It's pretty scary for us too… you've always got to be on the look-out, constantly reading the ingredients on the back of things to make sure there's no nuts or eggs," Mr Hughan said.

The allergy epidemic is also becoming a bigger worry for teachers and child-carers.

After the death of Sydney high school student Raymond Cho last month, the State Coroner has called for nuts to be restricted in schools and teachers to be formally trained in the use of epipens.

Gold Coast pediatrician and allergist Dr Velencia Soutther said while allergy levels in children had stabilised after a huge upsurge in the 1990s, there was a wider variety than ever before including common foods such as kiwifruits and tree nuts.



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Police investigate suspicious Tweed River death

Police are investigating the suspicious death of Michelle Lord after the car she was in crashed into the Tweed River east of Tumbulgum in October 2015.

Police are investigating the death of a woman in the Tweed River

Chillingham man faces court over gun, drugs, assault

A man has faced Murwillumbah court on drug, gun and assault charges

A Chillingham man has faced court on a string of drug charges

Man bails on $300 taxi fare

Police have sought assistance in identifying this man, who allegedly failed to pay a $300 taxi fare in Tweed Heads.

Tweed police are searching for a man over a $300 taxi fare evasion.

Latest deals and offers


British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Broncos prepare for Sharks

Defensive training session at the Broncos

Tough defensive session in preparation for Sharks game.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances