Aussie Kids, Allergies and Toby the Teddy

Did you know that Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergies in the developed world? Even more surprisingly, 4.1 million Australians have been found to have at least one hypersensitivity. These statistics are incredibly eye opening and highlight just how common allergies are in our society today.

“Knowing how to respond when anaphylaxis occurs is critical, as with any emergency response procedures. Everyone should be aware of the possible symptoms, how to position the person, and how to administer adrenaline. Any individuals with a severe hypersensitivity should consult regularly with their allergists about possible risk of anaphylaxis and develop actions plans for anaphylactic episodes and have [adrenaline] auto-injectors with them at all times. Those at risk of severe or fatal anaphylaxis because of asthma, coronary artery disease, or blood pressure problems, should discuss the possible triggers of anaphylaxis with their physicians as well as lifestyle approaches to reduce their risk.” (Lanny Rosenwasser, President of WAO).

Before I continue, if you don't already know, please take note of the following instructions for using an adrenaline auto-injector AKA Epi Pen.

The Australialasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has stated that the challenge for the Australian healthcare system will be how best to care for increasing numbers of not only young children presenting with new cases of food allergy and anaphylaxis, but also the current generation of teenagers and adults at persistent risk of fatal anaphylaxis, with the limited health and educational resources currently available.

At present, there is a desperate need for nationwide education on food allergy and anaphylaxis. The demand for evidence-based education on how best to care for increasing numbers of children presenting with food allergy and anaphylaxis continues to outstrip the current resources available for face-to-face training by community and hospital-based food allergy and anaphylaxis trainers. Australia is a large country, and with most specialist services located in our major cities, it has become clear that regional areas will suffer if alternative models for delivery of educational content are not developed (ASCIA, 2014).

Toby the Teddy directly addresses the need for education on allergy disorders and begins to bring such concerns to the attention of younger generations. 'Is This An Emergency? Ambulance' is a child-friendly and educational picture book that teaches children about the severity of emergencies. It is our hope that with this new resource available in our society, children who suffer from allergic disorders will be better protected as others around them will be better equipped to deal with emergencies when they arise.

Toby the Teddy and his picture book 'Is This An Emergency? Ambulance' is now available to educate children on what to do in a life-threatening situation.


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