I have to say to food

4th February 2005 at 00:00
Two weeks after starting primary school, Will Chapman bit into a cereal bar from another child's lunchbox and went into anaphylactic shock. Since then he has had no incident as serious, though he did panic when his teacher prepared an experiment that involved touching baked beans. Now eight and in Year 4, he has learned to be wary.

"I am allergic to nuts, kiwi fruit, dogs, cats, dust mites, beans, egg and tree pollen. If I have eggs I have to take medicine and stay off school for a bit. But if have nuts I always have to go in an ambulance.

At school I have packed lunch. I have school Christmas dinner, but my Mum has to go into school and ask the dinner lady what's in it.

If someone comes to school with nuts and sits next to me I have to move. If my friends offer me food I say no. It does make me feel quite annoyed about eating things.

I don't feel very embarrassed at having allergies. Once we had an assembly about dogs and one of the ladies brought dogs in at playtime but I couldn't go. And when I play football, you know footballers like fall over and dive, but because of the pollen I don't do that.

I've practised with my EpiPen and taken it once. The teachers know how to use it. If I have a new teacher my mum and dad and I talk to them about what I'm allergic to and what I'm allowed.

Some teachers I feel safe with and some I don't. Once I got the most points and whoever does that gets sweets on Friday. I won the sweets but my teacher forgot I couldn't have them. So I just went and took some of my own, from the box my mum gives me, instead."

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