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A School Speech
by Eric
Age 11

Good morning/afternoon fellow students and teachers. Today my speech will be on life threatening allergies, such as allergies to peanuts and nuts. I have this type of allergy.

Have you ever wondered what happens when you get an allergic reaction? Well, there are cells called mast cells that are filled with chemicals. One of the chemicals is histamine. When someone with a food allergy eats that food, it will attach to the IgE on the mast cell. This causes the mast cell to explode and send chemicals throughout the body. The symptoms may be itching, rashes, trouble breathing and stomach aches. A reaction could be so serious that it causes death.

Another time, when I was staying at a hotel, I wasn't able to eat many of the breakfasts. So, every day, the cook would make me something special or I would go into the kitchen and help make my own breakfast. I think it's great that some people are so thoughtful and adaptable.

The very first time and only time I have had an allergic reaction is when I tried five cashews and then my throat got itchy so I drank a glass of milk. When I got home I was scratching everywhere and then my dad rushed me to the hospital. He was going around 80 km an hour. When I got there the doctor said you have an allergy. I was glad that 3 hours later I was fine.

When I was tested for my allergy the doctor asked, "what are you allergic to?" Then, he stuck all the types of nut needles into my arm and I got lumps, which were itchy. The biggest lump indicated what I am most allergic to.

Peanuts and nuts are different. Peanuts grow on vines and they are a type of legume. Some types of tree nuts are almonds, cashews, walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts. Peanuts and nuts are used in many foods.

Other serious allergies are: bee stings, peas, sesame seeds, milk, and egg. People can be allergic to just about anything. One person even had a serious allergy to beer!

When it comes to giving the EpiPenŽ you have to hold the person and inject the EpiPenŽ into the outer thigh. Then you call 911 or drive the person to the hospital. Some reactions go away in 2 to 3 hours, but some reactions can last for 3 or 4 days or even a week. Some reactions happen quickly and some reactions happen slowly. Some reactions go away but come back again. Giving the EpiPenŽ right away and getting to the hospital are important because you never know what a reaction will be like.

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