The Anaphylaxis Campaign estimate that around 20 people a year die from anaphylaxis. Many of those will be 15-25 year olds – and many of those deaths just could have been prevented.

As anyone with allergic children will know, life is relatively (yes, only relatively) simple when they are small as you can control everything that they eat and do. But as they start to grow up they must become more independent. Once they reach their teens they will become responsible for their own safety yet they will want to be part of the gang – not some weird person with some weird condition. So the temptation to take risks will become ever greater, even though those risks could be fatal.

Only too aware of this, the Anaphylaxis Campaign is for ever looking for ways in which to remind 15-25 years olds of the dangers they could face and to help them stay safe – both taking precautions and by learning how to cope with friends who do not understand about anaphylaxis and who scoff at those precautions. Their latest release is an excellent short film (2 minutes) by director James Lawes about Hayley who, because her friend was making fun of her Epipen does not take it out with her when she goes out that evening. But then she is kissed by a boy who has just eaten pack of peanuts…. Cleverly filmed from above it is seriously hard hitting  and should make not just teenagers suffering from anaphylaxis but all of their friends think hard about the risk that they could so easily avoid.

Do watch and and share as widely as you can.

You can also watch a whole series of short videos by Dr Matt Doyle about the management of anaphylaxis – and a interesting one about how they actually made the film. The image above is of the rig used by the film crew to enable them to look down on Hayley during the film.



Way back in 1987, just as I was starting work on a major history of English food, my eighteen-month-old son, Jonathan, and his father were diagnosed with dairy intolerances. Back then the alternatives for those on dairy-free diets were few and far between and pretty unappealing so, after some months of experimentation, I launched Berrydales Special Ices, soya based ices which were dairy and additive free – and tasted delicious! While manufacturing the ices I started a newsletter, The Inside Story, about food allergy and food intolerance and, by 1995, it was a quarterly magazine circulating to over 35,000 health professionals. In 2000 The Inside Story, re-named Foods Matter, became a subscription magazine and now all of that information, and much, much more, is accessible on the Foods Matter, Coeliacs Matter and Skins Matter sites and on our two freefrom food sites, FreeFromFoodsMatter and FreeFromRecipesMatter. You can follow me on twitter @FoodsMatter or email me at And, of course, you can also follow the exciting growth of freefrom food by checking out our annual FreeFrom Food Awards celebrating the best and the newest in freefrom foods!

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