For advice on severe allergies, visit the Anaphylaxis Campaign website www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/living-with-anaphylaxis/young-people or drop us a line info@anaphylaxis.org.uk / 01252 542029 /@ACOutthere/@Anaphylaxiscoms

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Graphic Design Student brings allergy into the modern consciousness with stunning allergy magazine

Daniel Kelly, a Graphic Design student from the University of Huddersfield, has created an innovative booklet and magazine that aims to raise awareness around anaphylaxis and bring it into the modern consciousness.

Daniel said, “I hope that people understand what living with an allergy really entails and more importantly how to act in a life-threatening situation. The magazine and booklet pushes the boundaries and takes the adrenaline auto-injector out of context in a visually exciting way that’s not been seen more before.  I hope this will engage people and raise awareness around anaphylaxis.”

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. Although fatalities have remained consistent, at around 20 per year, this is still a tragic number dying from a preventable cause. Those most at risk from a fatal reaction are aged between 16-25 years old.

Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO, Lynne Regent said, “We really support the work Daniel is doing in raising awareness of allergy among young people. They are a particularly at risk group so this is a really important issue Daniel is addressing.”
 
Daniel started this project as a result of his university degree, however the project also took on a very personal agenda for him too.

“I have lived with a severe nut allergy for over 17 years now, yet I still find that people do not understand how severe having a food allergy is. When I speak to friends about my allergy they are always curious and interested. This sparked the beginning of my project, which would later have real personal meaning.”

In a recent survey carried out by the Anaphylaxis Campaign it was found that 44% of the 520+ respondents ages 15-25, didn’t always carry their Adrenaline Auto Injectors (or AAIs).

The social stigmatisation of carrying an AAI and the extreme pressures on teenagers to ‘fit-in’ and seem ‘normal’ can lead to not carrying their medication with them at all times, a risky and potentially life-threatening action. Daniel’s project seeks to change this.
I found out last week that my best friend’s brother had been diagnosed with a severe nut allergy. As a result, he unfortunately felt secluded because of having to carry an [AAI] for the rest of his life. I would like to attempt to take away this stigma associated around having an allergy. My response to this is to produce something that is going to engage with my audience in a new and exciting way. Making people more aware of what it is like living with an allergy, and how you can integrate it into your everyday life.”

But this was not just any project for Daniel, he even contacted award-winning designer, David Swann, who guided Daniel on how to approach his project and offered invaluable advice.

Daniel also conducted a study at his university, to find out if people knew who to use an AAI.

My findings showed that a lot of students did not know what an Epi-pen was and were unsure on how to use it. People initially thought you stabbed the Epi-Pen into the neck. This is the wrong information that is perceived. My goal is hopefully making people aware of the correct way to use the Epi-Pen.”

Daniel came up with the idea back in September 2014, and took him a month and a half to complete. It will be presented to the public on 12th June at Huddersfield University’s 2015 Graduation Show, in Huddersfield. If you would like to attend it will be held in Huddersfield University's Creative Art Building from 7pm Friday 12th June. 

One student said of the magazine, “The contemporary nature to Daniel Kelly’s designs allow a younger audience, such as myself, to understand the dangers associated with having an allergy, and how to reduce the risk of a reaction occurring. I feel the design response Dan has developed makes the subject of allergies more approachable and visually appealing.”

Daniel also ensured that his magazine was as medically correct as possible and sort help from allergy experts, including the Anaphylaxis Campaign, who he’s been a member of for many years.

“I have been with the Anaphylaxis campaign for over 17 years they have helped and supported me, proving free workshops and events. They have given me the chance to meet people my own age with food allergies. I also got the opportunity to go on a trip to Lake District, on an action packed five days where I entailed on lots of different activities, when I was thirteen. The Anaphylaxis Campaign not only support people with allergies like myself but have a real impact in giving me the tools and information to handle my nut allergy.”

You can view Daniel’s mini booklet and magazine here:


Mini Booklet - http://issuu.com/danielkellydesign/docs/final_3_issuu__booklet_body_text_fi


Magazine - http://issuu.com/danielkellydesign/docs/final_2_issuu_daniel_kelly_main_boo

Be Festival Ready with this simple Festival Allergy Guide

With festival season just around the corner we thought we’d get you in the mood with an easy guide to managing your allergy while enjoying the music, fun and (hopefully) sun.

Whilst there’s no reason why having a severe allergy should stop you donning your wellies and rain coat and getting stuck in to festival season it is important to remember to take care while you’re out there.

Before you go
Festivals often have security measures in place to make sure nothing dangerous or unusual is bought onto the site. Think of it like going on holiday, take a note from your GP explaining exactly why you need to carry your adrenaline auto-injector and what it does, just in case anyone thinks it could be something much more untoward.

Ensure you have somewhere cool to keep your AAIs just in case you get warm weather – keeping your pen with you in your tent at night or pocket during the day may cause 
it to overheat, which could reduce the effectiveness of the adrenaline. You can purchase special bags to keep your AAIs cool at http://www.medpac.co.uk/

Ensure it is in date before you leave. An out-of-date pen could also be much less effective.

When you get there
Scan the area and keep in mind where the nearest medical tens are and be aware of them in relation to your location whenever possible.

It may also be worth taking a trip down to your nearest medical or staff tent to your campsite and introduce yourself, explaining your condition and medication. This ensures people are aware of your allergy and know how to treat you, should anything happen.

Medication
Always carry two of your prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors (Emerade, EpiPen or Jext) at all times. 

Try not to leave them in your tent, carry it around with you at all times. There are many cool carriers and cases that allow you to clip it on to belt loops, clothing or keep it safe in bags. It may sound extreme but some type of AAIs need protecting from extreme temperature. Check with your GP or the brands website to find out about yours.

Allergy blogger, Leo, just sticks with the old favourite. “Bring a backpack - it can be a pain carrying adrenaline around with you at a festival, but I found that the best way that it could be managed was to carry a backpack, which means you can also carry your antihistamines, food, water, money and all the other essentials too.”

Keep your friends in the know
Make sure the people you’re going with known about your allergy and how serious it can be. This way they’ll know to be careful and can help you better should anything happen.

Festivals are extremely busy places and getting lost and separated is a possibility. Preparing for this is all about thinking ahead. The best thing you can do is to wear a medical alert bracelet or jewellery that display your allergy and treatment (http://www.medicalert.org.uk/), you can also carry a card with you in your pocket or wallet that lets even people you don’t know understand if you need help.  

It can also be helpful to write down emergency contacts; one at the festival with you and one at home, who can help you.   

Eating
Finding something to eat at a festival can be tricky if you have a food allergy but there are things you can do to help prevent an accidental reaction. You can contact the festival’s organisers beforehand and see if they can provide you with a list of food suppliers who will be there on the day, that way you can scope out if there’s something good (and safe) to eat when you’re there.

Don’t be afraid of asking them what’s in their food – the new Food Information Regulation means they must know if any of the top 14 allergens are present in their food. If you’re ever in doubt just go find somewhere else.

Alternatively, you can take your own food. Bear in mind if you’re camping over the weekend it should be food that won’t go nasty quickly. Instant noodles, sandwiches, personal safe snacks like crisps and fresh fruit (depending on what you’re allergic to) are all good foods to take with you.

If there is a town nearby to the festival you can try heading away from the crowds and popping to fast food stores you know are safe or to supermarkets where the range may not be quite as restrictive for you.

In case of emergency
If you think you’re having a reaction follow these tips:

Stay calm and stay with friends – do not go off on your own, stay with people that can help you
Get a friend to look for a member of the festival staff – stewards or security would be best, but this could also be programme sellers or bar staff – as they are likely to have a walkie talkie on them to contact the medical tent or will have good knowledge of the site and how best to get medical attention.

If you’re feeling dizzy or faint stay where you are and lie down, try to elevate your legs if possible.
Don’t be afraid to use your adrenaline. Using it, even if not needed, is unlikely to cause any problems. As adrenaline is a natural hormone present in your body i.e. from nerves, exertion, or excitement, your body can process with little risk involved.

Always call 999 and seek medical help after using your injector.

General festival tips
Pack baby wipes and antibacterial gel – these can help if you can’t find a sink or shower

Don’t eat or drink anything if you don’t know where it came from, or what’s in it – this is a good idea no matter where you are

Make plans for where to meet friends if you get separated and always carry your mobile phone in case of an emergency.

Invest in a backup battery pack if your phone is infamous for having a short battery life

Although we do not condone the taking of recreational drugs please bear in mind that drugs (and alcohol) can make you more likely to take risks and can make a reaction much more severe.