PARENTS

10-Year-Old Girl Suffers From Rare Allergy To Sand Where A Single Grain Can Leave Her In 'Agony'

01/07/2015 10:41 BST | Updated 01/07/2015 10:59 BST

While other people are rushing to Britain’s beaches this week to bask in the heat, Sarah Quinnen said she will not take her 10-year-old daughter Amelia anywhere near the seaside.

Quinnen found out her daughter suffers from a rare allergy to sand, after brushing her skin against just a single grain left her in agony.

Amelia’s allergy first emerged when she was two on holiday in Menorca when her mother placed her down for a few seconds on a beach.

Quinnen said: "I popped her down on the sand and she started screaming. All the locals on the beach were panicking – nobody knew what was going on.

"Her skin was bright red and stinging. It almost looked like a burn."

sand

Quinnen soon found out Amelia was suffering from a sand allergy so severe it can be triggered by just a single grain.

Now, beach holidays and trips to the sandpit are out of the question for the youngster.

Though never formally diagnosed, doctors told Mrs Quinnen that Amelia, who had been receiving treatment at St Thomas’ Hospital in London for a host of other intolerances, was more-than-likely also allergic to sand.

sand

Now, Mrs Quinnen and her husband Nick, 44, have to take turns accompanying their other children Callum, 13 and Tyler to the beach while the other stays with Amelia.

The boys never take towels as the risk of bringing rouge grains of sand back with them is too great.

They must also shower thoroughly and take a dip in the pool to ensure all sand is washed away before interacting with their sister.

"We have to make sure we stay somewhere with pools or kids clubs so Amelia doesn’t feel left out," said Quinnen.

"She has to sit on sunbeds with her feet up at all times just in case there is the odd grain on the floor."

rash

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The mother added: "The boys never take towels to the beach with them. We made that mistake once before and couldn’t get the sand out of our apartment.

"Amelia really suffered – her skin was so painful and blotchy."

family

Back home, Amelia must also take care to avoid areas prone to sand, including parks.

Mrs Quinnen said this has led to her daughter feeling isolated from other children.

"Sometimes Amelia can feel really left out," she admitted. "Her school went on a picnic recently and she was the only child who couldn’t go and play because there were grains of sand around.

"We often visit a farm near us that has a bouncy inflatable cushion for the children to play on.

"My husband and I have to patrol it while Amelia is on it to make sure nobody accidentally walks sand onto it."

Amena Warner, Nurse Advisor at Allergy UK, said: “Allergic and irritant reactions can be immediate or delayed depending on what is activated in the body’s response and can come from many things, it could be that sand can trigger eczema.

"You could also try changing the sand to a different brand - never use builder’s sand in children's sand pits - and also think about anything else you may have changed recently and just prior to the rash outbreak.

"It could be something as simple as heat rash or the abrasiveness of the sand, or, it could be sand bugs, which can even get into a closed container. They can bite and leave an itchy rash."

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