Mum Mia Williams has shared details of a terrifying ordeal she and her little boy Elijah went through, warning that the signs requesting no food in play areas should not be ignored.
Life or death situation
Posting on Facebook Mia said she was sharing their experience in the hopes that it might help other families avoid a life-threatening allergic reaction.
“Writing this post to raise awareness!” Mia wrote. “Please if you go to soft play with your child listen to the signs and don’t let your child take food in there!”
“The signs are there for a reason,” she stressed sharing photos on social media (pictured above) of allergy sufferer Eli’s severe reaction to traces of food on the balls in soft play.
“This was my son today, he’s anaphylactic to milk, eggs and peanuts and someone not listening to the signs could have killed him if I didn’t notice fast enough.”
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What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction which requires immediate medical treatment – such as an EpiPen injection. Within minutes of exposure to an allergen, a sufferer can develop potentially life-threatening symptoms such as breathing difficulties, swollen tongue or loss of consciousness.
An anaphylactic reaction occurs when the immune system responds to an allergen by making an antibody to attack it. This sets off a range of life-threatening immune system reactions.
One in 200 people suffer this kind of severe allergic response when exposed to allergens, so helping to create safer shared spaces is something we should all be more mindful of.
Mia says Eli’s reaction was caused by traces of food he is allergic to coming in contact with the play centre’s ball pit balls. She urged parents and carers to keep food – and sticky little hands – out of these sort of shared play areas.
“If this even shows one person how bad cross contamination can be it’s worth it to help another allergy baby!” Mia posted, later adding an update about safety and hygiene in play centres like the one she and Eli attended.
“[Have] been informed by someone there’s currently no law regarding the cleaning of balls in a soft play – shocking!!” she wrote.
If you’re interested in finding out more about allergies, the ABC is set to screen an episode of Catalyst tonight which gets to the bottom of this dangerous and debilitating medical condition.