A 10-year-old's death after eating a McDonald’s chicken wrap sparked concerns as a coroner warned parents of children with food allergies to carefully check the ingredients of food items. Dublin Coroner’s Court on Wednesday said Maleek Lawal, a student at St Audeon’s National School in Dublin, died after eating a peri peri chicken wrap on Oct. 7, 2016.

The child's mother, Rukawat Lawal, told coroner Dr. Myra Cullinane that Maleek loved McDonald’s food and always asked for it as a treat. 

“We were homeless, with nobody helping us, we were on our own and I was looking for a way to get out of emergency accommodation. I was looking for a way to keep the children happy,” she said. “Sometimes I felt so bad for him, so sad for him, that when he asked for something I had to give it to him.”

Rukawat told the court she ordered burgers, chicken nuggets and a peri peri chicken wrap from the fast-food chain’s Ilac Centre outlet. Maleek had eaten hamburgers and nuggets before but never the peri peri wrap, the court heard.

“He ate the whole wrap. Within 10 minutes he began to feel ill. He asked to go to the toilet. In the toilet he said ‘Mam I’m feeling weak, I can’t walk’,” Rukawat said. His face and lips swelled up, at which point his mother screamed for help.

Maleek was rushed to Temple Street Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy listed the cause of death as anaphylactic shock. Tests found there was milk in the chicken wrap, which caused the allergic reaction.

While returning a verdict of misadventure, Cullinane said parents of children with allergies should consult the lists, provided by law by restaurants, detailing ingredients of food.

Speaking after the verdict, Rukawat said Maleek was “a beautiful, playful boy” who loved to read... My heart is truly broken for him. I would not wish this pain of losing him on my worst enemy.”

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • itchy red spots on the skin
  • itching
  • nasal congestion (known as rhinitis)
  • rash
  • scratchy throat
  • watery or itchy eyes

Severe allergic reactions can cause the following symptoms:

  • abdominal cramping or pain
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness (vertigo)
  • fear or anxiety
  • flushing of the face
  • nausea or vomiting
  • heart palpitations
  • swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
  • weakness
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • unconsciousness