A Kirkland boy is sharing his scary food allergy experiences and some lessons in a new book.
“I’m a lot more aware now, I've made mistakes and learned from them,” said Kai Brown, 13, who sits down to every meal with a helping of vigilance.
He has to make sure there are no peanuts or tree nuts in anything he's eating because even a trace of those could cause a severe allergic reaction.
“I've had to visit the E.R. multiple times,” Brown said.
Navigating his allergy is not easy, and there have been some close calls, like the time Brown ate Nutella and ended up in the hospital.
He tells that story and offers advice in his new paperback, Kid's Guide to Life with Food Allergies.
“I made this book short, sweet, it has the information you'll need,” Brown said.
He explains how important it is to read food labels, and how to use an EpiPen, the device that delivers emergency medication during an allergic reaction. Brown interviewed other families and an immunologist and peppered his own experiences throughout the chapters.
“To me, writing about something personal really helps, and I think as long as you know a little about the subject, you can always research more,” Brown said.
The Brown's living room has turned into a temporary publishing warehouse of sorts. They are donating dozens of books to clinics and schools, and plan to give 100% of book sale proceeds to food allergy research. People have already ordered thousands of copies on Amazon.
About 5% of kids have a food allergy, according to the National Institutes of Health.