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Benedict Blythe Foundation calls for stronger allergen legislation in schools

21st Mar 2024 - 07:00
Benedict Blythe Foundation calls for stronger allergen legislation in schools
Helen Blythe, who created the Benedict Blythe Foundation after her five year-old son died following an allergic reaction, has called for stronger allergen legislation in schools, it was reported by BBC News.

The Benedict Blythe Foundation has called on the Government to provide £5m in funding for schools to introduce safety measures to prevent similar incidents happening again. The foundation says that allergy management in schools varies across English schools.

There are currently around 680,000 pupils with allergies in English schools, with each average sized class of 25 having one or two students with an allergy. The numbers of children with allergies continue to rise and the Benedict Blythe Foundation believes that schools need to be prepared to meet the needs of a larger population of children with allergies.

Benedict collapsed at school on 1st December 2021 and died shortly afterwards from fatal anaphylaxis. He is one of several children who have died at school from anaphylaxis in recent years.

Helen told BBC News: "He [Benedict] woke up, it was the first of December. He opened his advent calendar, went off to school happy and healthy and didn’t come home again.

“Current legislation makes only modest requests of schools and falls far below the recommended good practice outlined by clinicians, allergy charities and coroners. Measures need to be put in place to keep children with allergies in England safe. What is in place now is not good enough. Pupils and their families deserve better.”

According to their research, a third of schools do not have an allergy policy, almost half rely on children bringing their own autoinjector pen to schools and a quarter of schools in England do not provide any training on recognising allergy symptoms.

A spokesperson for the Benedict Blythe Foundation said: “Our vision is for a world where every child can reach their learning potential. Our mission is to ensure every child’s unique talents are met through the support to shine, that they learn in and about the natural world and have a safe place to learn.

“We achieve our mission through funding local and national innovative projects. We provide and design resources and education. We work with our partners in education, Government, health and research to aid delivery of impactful projects.”

Written by
Edward Waddell