Girl with peanut allergy dies after taking bite of treat at Northern California summer camp

  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 12:35 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A 13-year-old girl with a peanut allergy died at a popular family summer camp in Sacramento after taking a bite of a Rice Krispies treat.

Natalie Giorgi died Saturday at Camp Sacramento after eating the snack, which had peanuts, even after her parents administered multiple doses of medicine, the Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/14wBTHK).

A family friend told the Bee that Giorgi was diligent about her allergy, and spit out the treat right away after tasting peanuts.

"She never put any dessert or anything that was questionable into her mouth without consulting someone," said Augusta Brothers, the family friend.

Giorgi found her mother, who gave her a dose of Benadryl and monitored her. For a short time the girl seemed fine, but 20 minutes later she had trouble breathing.

Her father, a doctor, administered an EpiPen, which contains epinephrine, three times before she stopped breathing.

The sheriff's office cited laryngeal edema, or a swelling in the throat, as the cause of death.

Giorgi's parents, Louis and Joanna Giorgi, hoped their daughter's death would focus attention on the dangers of food allergies.

"While our hearts are breaking over the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Natalie, it is our hope that others can learn from this and realize that nut and food allergies are life-threatening," the couple said in a statement. "Caution and care for those (afflicted) should always be supported and taken."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 3 million American children under the age of 18 had some type of food allergies in 2007.

Most result from exposure to eight kinds of foods: eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and fish.

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