Mayo mum starts anaphylaxis training programme after daughter's close call
"It is so important for anybody to be able to spot the signs and react as quickly as possible."
A first-of-its-kind initiative in Mayo is aiming to make eating out a little easier for customers with food allergies.
Allergy Lifestyle was founded by Anne Walsh, whose one-year-old daughter had a close call with anaphylaxis after eating peanuts.
The little girl suffered a severe allergic reaction and was non-responsive in less than 15 minutes.
Fortunately, Anne lives near to a hospital and they were able to get her assistance quickly.
Anne has since set up Allergy Lifestyle, which provides anaphylaxis training and allergy equipment to families and those in the hospitality industry.
"With up to five per cent of children and one to two per cent of adults affected by food allergies, it's an issue that’s relevant to many families," she said.
"It makes an enormous difference to a family event to know you can eat out safely."
A number of Mayo restauranteurs recently underwent anaphylaxis training with Anne to ensure they know what to do if someone suffers an allergic reaction when dining out.
One participant, Barry Ralph of House of Plates in Castlebar, is especially aware how dangerous food allergies can be.
"I had an allergic reaction a few years back at home from white chocolate from a non-listed ingredient," he said.
"This gave me a fright and I think that it is so important for anybody to be able to spot the signs and react as quickly as possible.
"Thank God I got to the hospital in ten minutes and everything was OK.
"I carry an adrenaline pen with me now as a precaution."
The restaurants that took part in the training day with Anne and fellow trainer Mick Walsh were Al Muretto, Bar One, Dining Room, House of Plates, MMM Family Bakery, all based in Castlebar, and Rustic Fork in Westport.
You can find more information on Allergy Lifestyle here.