The recent tragic news story about the 11 year old boy (Cameron Jean-Pierre) who passed away from an anaphylactic reaction on New Year’s Day to fish being cooked at his grandmother’s home in Brooklyn is quite upsetting to many of us. You can read more here.
We are keeping Cameron’s family and friends in our prayers during this most difficult time. A tragedy such as this hurts all of us who are raising children with food allergies. We offer our deepest condolences to this family, as this is our worst nightmare too. We will carry Cameron’s memory with us and do better to educate the public on the seriousness of food allergies.
As a registered nurse, I want to share 5 important points to help you re-balance yourself after hearing such upsetting news:
1. Review your child’s Emergency Action Plan and ask your child’s allergist any specific questions you might have. Know how and when to use an epinephrine auto Injector to treat anaphylaxis. Remember, Hives/ skin symptoms may not be present during anaphylaxis.
2. If your child has asthma as well as food allergies, please make sure his or her asthma is well managed:
“Whether or not food allergies and asthma are simply associated with each other or causally related, patients with both diagnoses are at risk for poor outcomes and should be well-managed to prevent potential morbidity and mortality.” Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155248/
- Stay on track with your asthma/ allergy doctor appointments, especially this time of year with increased respiratory viruses, flu and cold temperatures.
3. Never leave home without your child’s 2 epinephrine auto injectors, even if you’re not planning on eating! Our best defense is to always be prepared!
4. Review your child’s plan of care with all caregivers, teachers, grandparents, coaches, etc. The Belay app is a wonderful tool to help communicate individual needs with everyone involved in your child’s daily care.
5. Being in close proximity to fish *being cooked* can trigger an allergic reaction in some people with a fish allergy. The proteins from the fish can be inhaled via the steam that occurs during cooking (boiling/ frying) thereby triggering an allergic reaction. Please see this Allergic Living article for reference.
As always, it is very important to discuss all questions with your child’s allergist regarding their individual needs. Having a board certified allergist accurately diagnose and manage your child’s food allergies and related conditions, such as asthma and environmental allergies, is so important in maintaining optimal health.
Please visit The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team, FAACT for further educational resources. All resources are reviewed by FAACT’s Medical Advisory Board.
I hope this information helps settle your soul during this difficult time in our community.
If you are struggling, and unable to find balance in this food allergy life, I highly recommend Tamara Hubbard, LCPC’s website, http://www.foodallergycounselor.com/ for additional mental health resources related to this diagnosis.
It takes a village to raise a child with food allergies. ❤️