Nicole Bloomfield pours her son Riley some rice milk. Riley is allergic to dairy.
Nicole Bloomfield pours her son Riley some rice milk. Riley is allergic to dairy. Sharyn O'Neill

Allergy has Riley on guard against possible lethal foods

MOST of us don't have to think twice about having a glass of milk.

But for Riley, it could prove fatal.

The five-year-old is severely allergic to dairy products, which can cause anaphylactic shock.

His parents have shared his story during Allergy Awareness Week this week.

They discovered Riley's allergy when he was only a few weeks old.

Riley's mum, Nicole Bloomfield, said he was hospitalised when eight weeks old. And that was when they worked out that milk was the cause.

"No one in the family has allergies, so it wasn't anything we were expecting," Nicole said.

Nicole said that some days it could be a struggle, but Riley's four brothers and sisters couldn't be more supportive of him.

"The kids are very protective of Riley," she said.

Life has been made a bit easier for the family, with Riley's school throwing their support behind him.

Mount Archer State School had been amazing, Nicole said.

The school had gone above and beyond to accommodate Riley, ensuring all staff know how to use his Epipen should he have a reaction.

"He copes pretty well, the school has been amazing," Nicole said.

"They have a 'Riley's restaurant' roster, and kids take turns sitting with him at lunch, and they can't have dairy at that table. His friends look out for him as well."


Food Allergy Facts

  • One in three Australians will experience an allergy at some point in their lives.
  • Up to 25% of the population believe they have some sort of food intolerance.
  • 4.1 million Australians or 19.6%of the population, have at least one allergic disease.
  • A food allergy is an immune system over-response to a food protein, known as an allergic reaction; our immune system mistakenly identifies an allergen as an invader and begins to create antibodies against it.



Allergy Awareness Week

  • Allergy Awareness week is from Monday, May 13, to Sunday, May 19
  • This year's "1 in 10" campaign is encouraging everyone to paint 1 fingernail out of 10 and donate to the cause.
  • One in 10 infants has a food allergy.

For more information head to