“My son is allergic to cold – I’m afraid his walk to school might kill him”

The parents of a teenager with severe cold allergies are “terrified” he might die on the way to school and have no choice but to keep the heating on all the time

Calum Courtney
His parents drive him to school every day because they fear it would be too dangerous to go there alone

A mother shared what her teenage son is like allergic the cold that they have no choice but to turn up the heat all day to protect him and drive him to school rather than risk leaving him running.

Calum Courtney, 14, has cold urticaria, which means he can’t be outside for more than 15 minutes without developing an itchy, red rash.

His allergy is so severe that he gets hives when the temperature drops below 24 degrees or when one of his limbs dangles from his bed covers at night.

His parents, Tupney Courtney and David Courtney, both 38, are concerned Calum’s allergy could prompt him to go to the clinic anaphylactic shockso they drive him to the school gates every morning and make sure he wears a tracksuit at all times.

Calum can’t be outside for more than 15 minutes without getting a rash


Kennedy News and Media)

His parents fear he might go into anaphylactic shock


Kennedy News and Media)

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According to Tupney, an anaphylactic shock in which a person blood pressure suddenly falling and narrowing their airways, preventing them from breathing could prove fatal for Calum as he was not prescribed an epi-pen.

Sadly, due to his condition, Calum has had to forego activities like ice skating, swimming, and even had to give up playing soccer after he was first diagnosed ten years ago.

Tupney, from Basildon, Essex, said: “As a teenager it affects everything, he can’t play or exercise. He had to stop playing soccer because his whole face swelled up.

“He can’t be out long when it’s cold. He goes out and has to come back in again and again. He always gets really hot because we have to wrap his skin.

“He used to be very excited because he really wanted to play football. When you’re a little boy, when you play football you’re part of the group of kids everyone wants to talk to. He’ll break out on any part of his body where he’s cold. At first , it’s the parts of his body that aren’t clothed, like his face and hands.

“If he’s out there long enough, it’s everywhere, even with three layers of clothing. It starts out as little red dots, it looks like chickenpox, then they get bigger and connect. They’re so uncomfortable, like stinging nettles then it’s really itchy”.

Calum had to give up playing football due to his condition


Kennedy News and Media)

The mother-of-two continued: “When he’s in too cold water he turns bright red and says it feels like it’s on fire. It’s a different feeling and he feels uncomfortable like he’s going to pass out.

“I think these are the early stages of anaphylactic shock. You really need to warm him up and try to warm him up from the inside with hot drinks.

“You have to think of everything. If he hurts himself, he can’t have a cold compress. He hit his hand at school and they said he had to go to the hospital because his hand was twice the size but when I got there he had a cold compress on it so as soon as I warmed it up it went off.

“You don’t know what reaction he might have, he might be in anaphylactic shock, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, although he hasn’t, it could happen at any time.”

Calum was first diagnosed when he was just four years old after suffering hives at a family wedding. His frightened parents initially believed he had a pollen allergy and treated him with it antihistaminesbut soon realized that there was more going on.

His family now wants to draw attention to the disease


Kennedy News and Media)

Calum’s parents are now speaking up, hoping to find a urticaria specialist. They also want to raise some much-needed awareness, with Tupney explaining that convincing people Calum’s condition is real is often difficult.

Tupney admitted: “It’s a nightmare when it comes to him doing anything. When he tells people it’s a constant struggle to prove it to people.

“People’s first reaction is, ‘Oh yeah, I’m allergic to the cold too.’ You think he says he doesn’t like the cold. It’s so frustrating that nobody believes him. ‘

“Most other countries have epi-pens for that. It’s not the same here, it’s annoying. Impossible to get anything to help.”

She continued, “I want to find a doctor who specializes in CU, which I can’t seem to find. We find allergy doctors and dermatologists but none that specializes in that particular allergy. I want as much information as possible but nobody can give it to you.

“It’s really difficult. We need help. It’s ten years of struggle, I wish we could get him a proper antihistamine, that means he could play without looking like he has a disease.

“Doctors are suggesting a lifestyle change to avoid the cold, ok we won’t live, we’ll stay indoors, do nothing or go somewhere. You cannot change your life and move abroad.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/my-son-allergic-cold-im-26647995 "My son is allergic to cold - I'm afraid his walk to school might kill him"

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