Seaford mom’s winter fears as girl allergic to the cold are at risk

A mother struggling with the cost of living crisis says she worries about the winter because her daughter is allergic to the cold.

Nikki Britton has been warned her energy bills will double and fears it could endanger her daughter’s health.

The 36-year-old told how few summer angels break out in hives when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

This means that Nikki usually leaves the heating on at her home in Seaford throughout the winter.

She explained how the 10-year-old suffers from a rare condition called cold urticaria.

The Argus: Summer was diagnosed when she was one year oldSummer was diagnosed when she was one year old

Nikki, a full-time caregiver, said: “It doesn’t even have to be that cold for her rashes to appear – so in the winter the heating is on all the time, no question.

“I expect my energy bills to double in the winter and we just won’t be able to turn on the heat, period.”

The family already owe the energy company £700 despite not having the heating on recently.

“I’m petrified of what’s going to happen to Summer. I feel so helpless,” Nikki said.

“What should I tell her when she says she’s cold? All I can give her is a coat and a hot water bottle, but that might not be enough.

“It’s just really, really worrying.”

The Argus: Summer and Mama Nikki BrittonSummer and mom Nikki Britton

Nikki has three other children, ages seven, two and eleven months, with her partner James Broadway, a full-time service technician.

In addition to hives, Summer’s throat can also swell when she drinks cold liquids, and her parents believe her condition is gradually getting worse — despite being prescribed antihistamines.

“Parents giggle when you say your daughter is allergic to cold until you explain it’s really serious,” Nikki said.

“It’s a pretty rare thing, not many people know what the condition is.

“Summer asks me, ‘Why do I have this? Why am I different from all my friends?’ and gets very angry.

“People stare at her when her allergies are high because her rash comes out so bad.”

The Argus: Summer's hands were covered with a rashSummer’s hands were covered in rashes

Nikki said the family already relied on food banks and Universal Credit but feared their energy bills would rise from £6 to £12 a day.

“6 pounds a day covers my washing machine and the fans at night,” she said.

“In winter we won’t use the fans but we need the heating 24 hours a day. I also need to use the clothes dryer.

“We just can’t afford to go any higher.

“We don’t have extra money to pay for it, so we can’t wear it.”

The Argus: Nikki worries that summer will often hit the rash during the colder monthsNikki worries that Summer will often suffer from a rash during the colder months

Summer-Angel was diagnosed with cold urticaria when she was a year old and the condition is now “almost impossible” to manage.

Cold urticaria is a reaction that can occur after just a few minutes of exposure to cold.

It usually appears on the skin as hives, but in severe cases it can cause anaphylaxis, or obstruction of the throat and swelling of the tongue.

The cause is still unknown.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20682129.seaford-mums-winter-fears-girl-allergic-cold-risk/?ref=rss Seaford mom’s winter fears as girl allergic to the cold are at risk

Fry Electronics Team

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