Boy, 11, Dies of Allergic Reaction After Smelling Fish Dinner

An 11-year-old child has died after he had an allergic reaction to the smell of cooking fish, officials believe. Camron Jean-Pierre died at a residence on East 82nd Street, Canarsie, in Brooklyn, New York City, on New Year's Day, police told Newsweek.

The child and his father, Steven Jean-Pierre, had headed to Brooklyn from New Jersey to visit his grandmother, theNew York Post reported. The pair entered the home as cod was being prepared for dinner. Overwhelmed by the fumes, Jean-Pierre fell unconscious.

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Police were called to the home at approximately 7:25pm, where they found the boy unconscious and unresponsive.

His family attempted to administer medication via a nebulizer used to inhale drugs. But the child was too weak to breathe in the medicine. When that failed, his father called an ambulance, he told the New York Post.

Camron was taken to Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, where he was pronounced dead, the New York Police Department told Newsweek. The Medical Examiner has launched an investigation to confirm whether seafood caused the child's death.

Speaking through tears, father Steven told the New York Post his child gave him two kisses as he struggled to stay conscious. His last words were: "Daddy, I love you."

"It just so happens they was cooking it when we came in," Steven told the New York Post. "Usually he don't get nothing that severe."

The father told the newspaper his son was "the best" and "made everyone around him happy. That was my prince, man. He was my everything."

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an expert in allergies and immunology at NYU Langone Health, told Newsweek that fish is one of the eight most common food allergens, adding that it is rare but possible for an allergic reaction to be set off when a person inhales a trigger food.

Commenting generally on allergies, she said: "It can be hard to predict but usually those with underlying asthma or a more severe allergy are at higher risk. In fact, all asthmatics are at higher risk of fatal anaphylaxis of any kind whether it be by ingestion, skin contact or inhalation, and should be more careful."

She urged parents and allergy sufferers to "never take your child's allergy lightly" and to educate family members, friends, teachers and others about the severity of the condition.

Sufferers always have an emergency epinephrine injector to hand, said Parikh.

"Use it at start of symptoms as this is the only medication that can save lives," she said. "Delay of this medication can be the difference between life or death."

According to a study published last year in the journal Pediatrics, around 5.6 million children in the U.S. have a food allergy. That amounts to around 8 percent of children.

Of the total, around 1.6 million children were allergic to peanuts; 1.4 million to milk; 1 million to shellfish; and 900,000 to tree nuts. A further 600,000 were at risk of being sickened by eggs; 400,000 by fin fish; and the same number by wheat and soy.

Researchers surveyed the parents of 38,408 children between 2015 and 2016. The study also revealed a fifth of children with a food allergy needed life-saving emergency room treatment in the year prior.

This artice has been updated with comment from Dr. Purvi Parikh​.

cod fillet
Camron Jean-Pierre, 11, died after he inhaled the aroma of cooking cod, police say. Getty Images