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Statement on Coroner’s Verdict on the death of Karanbir Singh Cheema

We want to express our heartfelt sympathy for the family of Karanbir Cheema. While we have not yet seen the full narrative verdict, we understand that in this very tragic case the coroner has highlighted the vital need for schools to create better awareness and understanding of allergy among all staff and pupils. We welcome the coroner’s intention to issue reports to a number of organisations, including the Department of Health and the Department for Education, in an attempt to guard against similar incidents.

Allergy UK provides information and guidance for schools as part of its commitment to increasing awareness and understanding of allergic disease, including free guidance on the development of a robust school allergy management policy. (https://www.allergyuk.org/information-and-advice/for-schools) We were also active in the campaign which changed the law to allow schools to obtain adrenaline auto injectors. (www.sparepensinschools.uk).  We urge schools to use these resources to help them create a better understanding by pupils of what it means to have an allergy, as well as management systems to help protect pupils who live with allergy.

As the leading patient organisation for allergic disease we are very aware of the lack of awareness about allergic disease, and what can happen to someone with a food allergy, in the population at large.  Sadly, it takes tragic incidents like this one to bring home the message that allergies can kill.  It is only education and action, in terms of developing policies and practices, that will help prevent further tragedies.   

Contact:  Allergy UK Press Office (press@allergyuk.org)

Press Line: 01322 611655

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