A Sydney mother is warning other parents over the dangers of fava beans after her young son was hospitalised from eating the popular snack.
The concerned parent took to a community Facebook group on Saturday to reveal her five-year-old son was “very sick” after eating three packets of roasted fava beans in a week.
“We thought he just had a cold but yesterday we noticed he was actually yellow in colour, his urine was dark [and] he could barely wake up,” her post read.
She took her son to hospital where doctors told her his symptoms were due to a G6PD deficiency – a condition which affects 400 million worldwide and breaks down red blood cells faster than the body can replace them.
While revealing her son was on the road to recovery following his visit to hospital, she warned other parents to make sure their children aren’t also at danger.
“Our son will be fine but just thought it was something that was useful to know as we certainly had no idea," she said.
The Royal Children’s Hospital says children with a G6PD deficiency should avoid contact with moth balls and eating fava beans, also known as broad beans.
“Most children with G6PD deficiency have a completely normal life as long as they avoid certain foods and drugs,” their website reads.
They list pale skin, persistent tiredness, dark-coloured urine and yellow skin or eyes as tell-tale symptoms of a G6PD deficiency.
Children with these symptoms should be taken to their GP for a blood test.
Favism, a condition where someone has a very severe reaction to fava beans, can prove fatal if someone is exposed to excessive quantities of fava beans.
“People with favism are always G6PD-deficient, but not all people with G6PD deficiency react this strongly to fava beans,” The Royal Children’s Hospital’s website reads.
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