A mother has rushed her five-year-old son to hospital after his skin turned yellow from eating beans.

The horrified Sydney mother shared her terrifying ordeal on Facebook, warning other parents after her son’s skin went yellow and his urine dark after snacking on fava beans.

‘Ever eaten or given your kids fava beans?’, the mother wrote.

‘Just something to be aware of …. my 5 year old is currently in hospital and very sick after eating 3 packets of these this week.

‘He’s had a pack or so every now and then but not as much as he did this week.

‘We thought he just had a cold but yesterday we noticed he was actually yellow in colour, his urine was dark, he could barely wake up. Took him to doctor and they said straight to emergency.’

The mother rushed her son to hospital where they found he was deficient in G6PD, an enzyme which is important in protecting the red blood cells.

According to The Royal Children’s Hospital, favism is the occurrence of a severe reaction to fava beans (broad beans).

There is a risk of acute haemolysis, where red blood cells break down faster than the body can replace them, which can be life-threatening.

The break down of the red cells can lead to anaemia, which can cause pale skin and lethargy.

This condition is believed to affect 400 million people worldwide.

Gosh, so glad he is OK! I have never heard of it. Have you?

Share your comments below

  • That poor Mumma & little boy! Trying to feed him healthy snacks & it’s just bit her in the bum. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery & appreciation for speaking out about this!


  • Wow, never heard of this. In a way it’s good that he got this severe reaction otherwise it would never have been discovered he has this condition. Scary though !


  • Wow, didn’t know this. I find broad beans awful, my mother grew a bunch as a kid and they were furry (I don’t think she peeled them) which made them worse. They warn you not to eat them with their horrible flavour haha!


  • Never heard of this. My oldest daughter loved to eat Fava Beans, she would pick them from our veggie patch and munch away.


  • Never heard of it and not how I’d expect an allergic reaction to start so it’s very good to know.


  • scary for them


  • Poor child – all types of foods have the potential to cause an allergic reaction.


  • Wow never heard of this


  • I’d like to know what was in the 3 packets of fava[broad] beans her child ate? Was it three packets of dried beans, roasted beans, fresh beans, or what and how many grams per pack?
    We have used fresh broad beans for years, usually our own home grown ones and eat a lot of them when they are in season. I also freeze the beans and eat them later through the year.
    As I have an diabetic/dialysis patient in my care, I would really like more information about this.


  • Had heard of this but never really gave it much thought. It is really not a concern to your child is affected then bang your world is turned around.


  • I’ve never heard of this! I use broad beans every now and then but prefer to go for normal green beans. I rarely use the tinned or dried beans. Scary!


  • Never heard of it – I can’t do the maths, is it rare?


  • I have never heard of this side effect.


  • Oh yes, I had heard of this in Italy.


  • I wonder if he ate them raw. I would never have thought of that happening. The fact they were in a packet I also wonder where they came from.


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