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HEALTH

French boy, aged 6, dies after eating crêpe at school

The parents of a six-year-old French boy have been left distraught and angry after their son died shortly after eating a crêpe at school. The pupil had a severe allergy to dairy products.

French boy, aged 6, dies after eating crêpe at school
Photo: AFP

The tragic incident occurred in the small town of Limas, in the department of Rhône, central France.

A six-year-old boy, named Jadhen, ate a crêpe that was given to him at school on March 26th.

But the boy had a severe allergy to dairy products and shortly after picking him up from school Jadhen's mother said he began to fall ill.

“He was telling me that he wasn’t feeling well, that he wanted to vomit”, the boy's mother, named Marie-Anaëlle Depeche, told BFMTV.

“He then told me that he was really in pain, I was holding him, I stopped some people and asked for their phone so I could call emergency services”.

Fabien, the boy’s father told FranceInfo: “My wife went to pick him up and he was already having problems breathing. At one point, he collapsed but had time before to say ‘Help me, I am going to die’”.

Paramedics could not reanimate the boy who later died from an anaphylactic shock, an extreme allergic reaction, as confirmed by the autopsy conducted last Friday.

The parents of the child say they do not understand how the tragedy could have happened.

“Everyone knew at the school that he was allergic to dairy products, the teachers, the head mistress, even other parents. He had been going to this school for three years now,” the father said. 

“They all knew what to do at the school in the event of an allergic reaction”.

The prosecutor of Villefranche-sur-Saône, Sylvain Cordesse, has confirmed that the crêpe was given to him by his teacher.

The father of the boy criticized the teacher’s “poor judgment”.

“It’s even worse that an error, she knew all about his allergy,” he said.

The French newspaper Le Progrès claims that the boy accepted this crêpe because he was used to having ones made with water at home.

Prosecutors are now trying to determine if anyone should legally be held responsible at the school. The teacher has already been questioned by police.

A medical and psychological help center has been opened at the school for the children and parents.

HEALTH

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.

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