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When Allergy UK launched its campaign ‘It’s Time to Take Allergy Seriously’ in 2022, it focused on highlighting the psychological impact and isolation that came with having an allergy. Being excluded from ordinary day to day activities because of an allergy was an experience with which many could relate. Social events were especially anxiety inducing for people living with food allergies.
For the first phase of our campaign to take allergy seriously, the focus of our conversations shifted to raising awareness of food allergies and what it’s like to live with a food allergy.
With Halloween heralding the start of the festive season, shortly followed by Christmas and its associated social occasions, it is also the time when many people with food allergies can especially feel the harsh impact of living with the disease. Fears that their allergy will not be taken seriously is enough to stop them from being part of social events, highlighting a need for conversations around how people can easily approach these occasions and accommodate the needs of those with food allergies.
For the parents of children with food allergies, Halloween especially, can present an extra reason to be frightened. It is estimated that 1 in 12 children are affected by food allergies and a recent poll indicated that nearly 69% of parents believe more awareness is needed of the potential risks of food allergies in children. 52% of respondents would feel more comfortable with their child trick or treating if houses identified as allergy friendly and were more aware.
Christmas is a time of delicious food, synonymous with enjoying treats and eating out. But what happens when you’re living with food allergies? And how can you ensure that those with allergies don’t miss out? We think it’s time for everyone with food allergies to be able to have a seat at the festive table. With some thought and consideration, this is more than possible. Improved awareness around allergy helps keep friends and loved ones safe.