Food allergies should never be taken lightly. A study published in the journal of Pediatrics estimates there are approximately six million kids in the United States alone with allergies to certain foods. Food allergies are more prevalent in children. Some underestimate just how dangerous an allergic reaction is, contributing it to overprotective parents. In reality, the consequences can range from a mild rash to anaphylaxis, the most serious reaction. The symptoms can range from swelling, itching, shortness of breath, chest pain, throat tightness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weak pulse, lightheaded, metallic taste in the mouth, and anxiety, among others. For many living with allergies, coming into contact with certain foods means time is of the essence to get them medical help.Rina Cheema was called by William Perkin C of E High School, in Greenford, West London, letting her know her son was on his way to the hospital on June 28, 2017.
He was allergic to all dairy products, eggs, wheat, all nuts, and gluten. He also suffered from atopic eczema and asthma. The school was fully equipped to help Karan in case he was exposed to one of these foods.
There are conflicting reports of what happened. Parents have spoken to various British media saying cheese was flicked in Karan’s face, others claim it was shoved down his shirt, while another account claims a piece of cheese was put inside his sandwich without the teen’s knowledge.
The executive head teacher, Dame Alice Hudson, said Karan had a “number of allergies.”
“Staff at the school reacted promptly to provide medical intervention and were well supported by the London Ambulance Service who attended the scene,” Hudson said.
It is known that Karan had enough time to go to the school’s office asking for his medication.
“The school called me at 11.30am and I rushed from my work and by the time I got to the school he was already on a trolley going into the ambulance,” Cheema recalled.
Many parents in England have come forth after this story was made public, saying kids often taunt kids with allergies by bringing it to school or on the bus.
“I want answers, I want to get to the bottom of what happened, I will be asking the school if he was bullied but my son was very popular, you could not help but like that child, he never made enemies,” the 51-year-old grieving mom said.
“No parent should have to watch their son die,” he said.
He was a gifted mathematician who also loved playing soccer.
“We were so proud of him. He had a very bright future. There are a million things he could have done with his life,” his 53-year-old father said.
On the same day Karan came into contact with cheese, a student from the school took to social media to vent.
Scotland Yard spokesperson said “A boy, a pupil at the same school, was arrested on Wednesday, June 28, and interviewed in connection with the incident. He has been bailed to return on a date in late July. The incident was initially investigated by officers from Ealing Borough but has since been passed to the Homicide and Major Crime Command.”
For Karan’s mom, her world has been turned upside down. “He loved life and I was his sole carer, he was my only child and I am empty now,” she said.