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Allergies make it tough for family

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014
Simpson Family
Sarah Argyle

RAISING AWARENESS: Steve and Karen Simpson sit with their sons. From left: Cody, 4, and Joel, 2. 

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Four-year-old Cody Simpson will never sit down to a Sunday roast.

The young Auckland resident is highly allergic to lamb, potato, eggs and dairy products - just a handful of the 120 foods that can cause an adverse reaction among one in 10 children under the age of five.

Food Allergy Awareness Week runs from May 12-18 and Cody's mother Karen Simpson is among those getting behind it.

She was first alerted to a potential problem while struggling to feed her son when he was just a newborn.

"He blubbered all the time. I knew something wasn't right and that it wasn't normal for him to cry as often as he did.

Later on came another sign.

"Once when I was having my breakfast Cody jumped up on to my lap, knocking over my cereal and milk. I wiped him down but must have missed a spot because he came out in welts."

Doctors told Simpson the hives, eczema and welts were viral and she had nothing to worry about.

But when Cody turned blue Simpson knew she had to take matters into her own hands and took her son to a top allergy specialist.

Cody tested positive for allergies to egg, potato, dairy and lamb.

"I held it together but the moment I got out of the specialist's office I burst into tears."

Eliminating those four foods from Cody's diet made him a "completely different child", she says.

Simpson remains on high alert carrying an epi-pen at all times and monitoring what foods are kept in the pantry.

"We don't keep egg in the house because when cooked the protein from them sticks to furniture and that's a risk we don't want to take."

During her second pregnancy the allergy specialist recommended Simpson avoid dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and seafood.

As a result two-year-old Joel has no allergies, she says.

Go to www.allergy.org.nz for more information

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