Our 13-year-old daughter suffers extreme sensitivity to salicylates and our 12-year-old son suffers mildly (or so I thought). During Easter we had relatives visit and I had gone for a walk with the younger children. My son had a growing headache when I left, and our care for that is a warm carob and lying down in a quiet room. While I was gone he asked if his aunty had anything for a headache. (Incredibly irresponsibly!) she gave him an aspirin. By the time I returned from my half hour walk he had developed severe swelling of the eyes, upper lip, ear lobes and generally puffiness of his face; also urticaria over his whole body centred on his neck and under his jaw line. At first I didn't know about the aspirin. After much questioning, research and deliberation I came to the conclusion that it could only have been the aspirin. He became very agitated, very frightened, and very unlike his usual self. It took over 48 hours for all the symptoms to disappear. Needless to say, my children have never been given aspirin before, and it will never be allowed in my house again. – by email, see Salicylates factsheet for the aspirin-salicylate connection.

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