Food allergies: How to be a good friend to someone with an allergy

Last updated at 11:04
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WATCH: How to be a good friend to someone who has an allergy

Bethany is working hard to make sure that people know about the dangers of food allergies and what to do to help those who are unable to eat certain foods.

It comes after the 17-year-old lost her best friend Natasha after she had a severe allergic reaction to a baguette from Pret a Manger.

This was an extreme and tragic case. However, Bethany believes everybody should know how to help make life easier and safer for the millions of people who live with allergies.

'Take allergies seriously'

"It is so important, when you have a friend or family member with allergies to take them seriously" says Bethany.

"I first knew Natasha at the age of eight. I hadn't known anyone before who had allergies.

"Many of us didn't understand what it really was or indeed how serious they were. Natasha would explain that if she ate or even touched any of the many foods she was allergic to, she could die.

"Perhaps some people may think allergies are 'fussiness' or 'attention-seeking'. If you do not take them seriously, you are putting peoples lives at risk."

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WATCH: Bethany's story - 'I lost my best friend when she had an allergic reaction'
Be cautious around friends with allergies

"I learnt to be very cautious with food. I made it a priority early on in our friendship to learn everything she couldn't have. There were so many foods to which she was allergic." adds Bethany.

"If I was having a sandwich with butter in it, I might have to wash my hands if I got butter on my fingers, because if I had touched her or any of her food, then that could cause an allergic reaction.

"Growing up through many birthday parties, involving lots of food and cake, it was a priority to find food that wasn't going to harm Natasha. We would always have meals pre-made in the freezer that we could all eat together so that person would not feel that we had to go out of our way or that they are difficult."

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WATCH: Callum's story - what it's like to live with 28 allergies
Check where your friend can eat out

"If you are eating out, get to know which restaurants your friend can eat at" advises Bethany.

"We usually went to the same places and I can still recite her Nando's order. It never changed.

"People with allergies must take responsibility for themselves, but it's also really important that society plays its part by insuring full ingredient labelling across all pre-packed food.

"If we do this, it will save lives."

Comments

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by Hope

    27 Mar 2019 19:10
    I feel sorry for Bethany Tho*
  • Comment number 6. Posted by U17523460

    26 Mar 2019 19:31
    I feel sorry for her 2 but looks like she is staying strong. And can callums mum hook me up with some of that chocolate spread! Looks yum:-P :-)
  • Comment number 5. Posted by rainbowdiamond

    26 Mar 2019 18:42
    i feel sorry for bethany. and living with 28 different allergies
  • Comment number 4. Posted by U17528845

    26 Mar 2019 16:57
    I am very scared and sorry for Bethany
  • Comment number 3. Posted by U17528845

    26 Mar 2019 16:56
    This comment was removed because it broke the rules. Explain
  • Comment number 2. Posted by cupcakerainbowcat

    26 Mar 2019 16:15
    i feel so sorry for Bethany
  • Comment number 1. Posted by Hope

    26 Mar 2019 16:05
    Nice! :D