Bullying, teasing, and harassment of children with food allergy is common, frequent, and repetitive

This U.S.based study from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City included 350 questionnaires. Most surveys were completed by parents of food-allergic children.

24% of respondents reported that the food-allergic individual had been bullied, teased, or harassed because of food allergy.

Of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed, 86% reported multiple episodes. 82% of episodes occurred at school, and 80% were perpetrated by classmates.

21% of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed reported the perpetrators to be teachers or school staff.

Of those bullied, 57% described physical events, such as being touched by an allergen and having an allergen thrown or waved at them, and several reported intentional contamination of their food with allergen.

Bullying, teasing, and harassment of children with food allergy seems to be common, frequent, and repetitive. These actions pose emotional and physical risks that should be addressed in food allergy management.

References:

Bullying among pediatric patients with food allergy. Lieberman JA, Weiss C, Furlong TJ, Sicherer M, Sicherer SH. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 Oct;105(4):282-286.

Food allergy bullies - ABC video

DNA of children who experienced violence and bullying shows wear and tear that is associated with rapid aging http://goo.gl/FzY2i

Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

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