The number of hospitalized children with severe allergic reactions has increased 72% in five years, new figures show.
According to the NHS Digital, there were 1,746 cases of anaphylactic shock among those 18 years old and younger in 2018-19, compared with 1,015 in 2013-14.
The increase among children 10 years and under was 200%, from 110 to 330, and London was the region with the highest jump of 167% – from 180 to 480.
The data were obtained by a foundation created by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a teenager who died unconsciously eating sesame, which she was allergic to, in a Pret to Manger sandwich.
His mother, Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, said the "terrifying figures" show that the United Kingdom is facing an "allergy emergency".
She added: "The number of children with allergies and severe allergic reactions is increasing year by year at a deeply alarming rate.
"Scientists still do not understand why the number of children with allergies is increasing, which is why it is vital that we invest in large-scale research projects, both in causes and possible cures."
Natasha was 15 when she suffered the fatal allergic reaction on a flight between London and Nice in 2016, with the sesame seed in the baguette she bought was not listed on the label.
Her parents campaigned for legislation to make all prepacked foods clearly marked and in June the government announced that "Natasha's Law" would do just that when it came into force in 2021.
Natasha's reaction, anaphylaxis, causes symptoms such as breathing difficulties, wheezing, severe rash, dizziness or fainting, and rapid heartbeat.
Common triggers include nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and some fruits, and experts believe that children are more likely than ever to develop allergies to these foods.
Hasan Arshad, professor of allergy and clinical immunology at Southampton University, said: "These new figures confirm what we know to be a worrying increase in severe food allergy.
"We must not forget that behind each of these numbers is a child or adult who has suffered the most serious consequences of anaphylactic shock. For a long time, allergies have been considered a minor inconvenience. It's time for all of us to focus on prevention and cure." of allergies. "
Data from the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation included a regional collapse of hospital admissions, which showed that the East Midlands recorded the second largest increase – by 145%.
The increase in the East was 84%, followed by the West Midlands (59%), Northwest (56%), Yorkshire and Humber (50%), Southwest (24%) and Southeast (22%).
In the northeast, the number remained static.
And when adults are included, there was an overall jump of 34% from 4,107 cases to 5,497.
Ednan-Laperouse added: "We lost our beautiful daughter Natasha to anaphylaxis after she ate a hidden allergen in our food. We don't want to see any other family facing the terrible pain we will always suffer. That's why we established the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation with the goal. end of finding a cure for allergies ".