Food Allergies and Bullying
A study released in December 2012 in the journal Pediatrics surveying children 6-10th grade, indicates that bullying is common among children with food allergies, and often involves threats with food.
Compared to non-bullied children, bullied food-allergic children report higher anxiety and lower quality of life. The good news is that the study also indicated that if a parent is aware of the bullying, the child’s quality of life is better. However, parents were aware of just half of bullying cases among the studied population.
Bullying at school has also been an important topic in education and public health in recent years. Many studies have been done to identify causes, solutions and impacts of bullying, this was the first to address the relationship between bullying and food allergies and most importantly child and family quality of life.
The study surveyed 251 families recruited from an allergy clinic. All included a child with a food allergy. More than “45 percent of children and 36 percent of their parents said their child had been bullied or harassed for any reason, and 31 percent of the children and 25 percent of the parents reported bullying specifically to food allergies.”
Food allergies are a growing concern in our school population and much work has been done to address each student’s needs to keep them safe at school, All parents should follow the Newton Public Schools Life-Threatening Food Allergy Guidelines of minimizing the use of food during the school day.
For further information please refer to:
Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics : www.aanma.org
American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: www.acaai.org
To read the full study, go to http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/e10.full.html
The article title is: “Child and Parental Reports of Bullying in a Consecutive Sample of Children With Food Allergy.”