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Current as of 30/09/14 07:40PM NZST

Grant gives allergy kits wings to help

Charity launches programme for Auckland schools with aid of $10,000 donation.

Penny Jorgensen, chief executive of Allergy New Zealand, says the initiative will provide teachers with vital knowledge and equipment. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Penny Jorgensen, chief executive of Allergy New Zealand, says the initiative will provide teachers with vital knowledge and equipment. Photo / Steven McNicholl

It can be stressful sending your child to school and not knowing if they will be able to avoid the food they are allergic to or if staff know what to do in an emergency.

Penny Jorgensen, CEO, Allergy NZ Having an allergic reaction at school can be a frightening experience for children and teachers alike, so knowing what to do and having the equipment to help a child is essential.

Allergy NZ is providing 50 schools in Auckland with special Allergy and Anaphylaxis education kits to help both students and teachers.

Each pack includes teaching resources, DVDs and information about allergic conditions, how to recognise a reaction and how to deal with a reaction.

The kits have been funded by Auckland Airport's 12 Days of Christmas initiative, where charities are gifted $10,000 towards a cause, and will be distributed to low decile schools around Auckland.

Chief executive Penny Jorgensen said at least one in four Kiwis, many of them children and young adults, suffered from allergies, so it was vital that teachers were both physically and mentally equipped to act if necessary.

Ms Jorgensen said schools in lower decile areas simply could not afford such kits.

"These families often have a lot of extra costs to face including special foods and medications. If their child is at risk of a life-threatening reaction, they will also have to pay for an adrenaline auto-injector, which cost upwards of $100 each," she said.

"On top of this it can be stressful sending your child to school and not knowing if they will be able to avoid the food they are allergic to or if staff know what to do in an emergency. We hope that by providing these kits, it will help schools to keep children with food allergies safe and well."

Auckland Airport general manager corporate affairs Charles Spillane said the kits would no doubt make a difference to these schools.

Airport windfall
This Christmas, the Herald is again featuring charities which have been selected for a $10,000 donation from Auckland Airport. The $120,000 to be distributed came from change donated by travellers this year.

- NZ Herald

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