Ministry launches campaign to get kids with life-threatening allergies to carry Epipens

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

The Health Ministry launches a social media campaign reminding young people with life-threatening allergies to carry with them a pre-filled epinephrine syringe (Epipen).

Food allergies are the most common serious allergies among children, teens, and young adults.

The campaign comes after last week a 16-year-old boy from Jerusalem with a milk allergy ate ice cream and was hospitalized with anaphylactic shock.

The Health Ministry released videos in both Hebrew and Arabic as part of its educational campaign. The Hebrew one stars actor, model, and beatbox rapper Sagi Braitner. The Arabic version stars singer Loai Ali.

For a person with an allergy, symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to the allergen and can include a severe rash, a narrowing of the windpipe, difficulty breathing, swelling, and vomiting.

Severe anaphylaxis involves a drop in blood pressure, slowed heart rate, confusion, and loss of consciousness leading to death if not treated in time. It is estimated that 0.05-2% of the population experiences at least one anaphylactic incident in their lifetime. Carrying and using an Epipen when needed can be lifesaving.

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