A mother has launched a campaign group to raise awareness of “life threatening” allergies that have blighted her son’s life since birth.

Radhika Shah, of Northwood, has started an allergy support group because her son, Saavan, has suffered with “severe” allergic reactions since he was a baby.

Mrs Shah, 48, said: “My son was a year old when I gave him half a spoonful of baby yoghurt. Little did I know that spoonful could have taken his life.

“He came out in hives all over his body, became very itchy and was crying uncontrollably. We gave him an antihistamine and rushed him to the hospital.

“Since then, skin prick and blood tests revealed he was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, sesame, wheat, kiwi and dairy products.

“We continually check labels on all food packets we buy from supermarkets. We have got used to the fact that when, for most people, a weekly supermarket trip may take an hour, ours may take an hour and a half.

“Although an allergic child is mostly fine, when an allergic reaction does happen, it brings a sense of doom depending on the severity of the reaction.”

Her support group will be working with the Anaphylaxis Campaign, a charity that promotes greater awareness of this condition, which also affects the airways, heart, gut and skin.

Ms Shah said: “I want to help other parents by hosting the allergy support group in conjunction with the Anaphylaxis Campaign, where we can discuss all these issues over a cup of tea.”

Now 17, Savaan and has grown out of some allergies, but the ones he still has are life threatening.

He has needed to use an EpiPen twice, but during other reactions, antihistamines, inhalers and steroids have been enough to help ease the symptoms.

“We’ve overcome all the major challenges: starting school, birthdays, school trips,” his mum added.

“But our ongoing challenges are finding restaurants and holidays for the whole family.”

She says the next step will be towards more independent living for Saavan when he goes off to university.

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School pupil said: “Having this condition has made me more cautious and sensible. My friends know what to do if things go wrong.

“A couple of years ago while holidaying in Barbados the hotel manager had the kitchen make a special cake which he said was safe for me.

"I had hives all over my body and got rushed to a nearby hospital.

“We were abroad, we didn’t know how the whole system works.”

The group will meet Sunday, March 11 at Northwood Club. To get involved, e-mail radhikashah33@hotmail.com.