#1 Peanut menace? Bullies use food to torment allergic kids10-01-2010, 11:41 AM...But a new study of parents and kids living with allergies suggests that bullying of youngsters allergic to foods of all types is actually a widespread — and potentially life-threatening — worry.
About 1 in 4 kids, teens and young adults with allergies reported being teased, harassed or bullied because they were allergic, according to a new survey published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Of 353 families of kids ages birth to 25 surveyed at allergy conferences across the nation, 85 reported that their kids had been plagued because of the problem.
When children under 5 were excluded from the results, that rose to 35 percent, and among kids in grades six through 10, it was as high as 50 percent, noted Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, a professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
Verbal taunts, teasing most common
“It was a surprise from several aspects,” said Sicherer, noting that the study was the first known effort to quantify allergy bullying. “Overall, the rate was quite high.”...
Completely unsurprising news.
10-01-2010, 03:03 PM
Since food allergic reactions can lead to death, I believe any bully who taunts a kid with peanuts or some other food the kid is allergic to should be charged with aggravated assault. What is the difference between this or threatening with some other weapon?Deplorably Proud To Be An American
10-01-2010, 03:38 PM
Verbally teasing a kid for having allergies is one thing. It is like being teased for being white, black, red-headed, wearing glasses or braces, nappy/straight hair, etc. Everyone gets teased for something, it's part of growing up.
But smearing peanut butter on a kid who is allergic to peanuts could kill the kid. A good prosecutor could make a case for attempted murder-if the bully is under age 12, the parents should also be charged with neglect if there are previous physical bullying incidents in school.
10-01-2010, 11:16 PM
I expect that kids who have parents attending allergy conferences are kids who are much more closely monitored and kids who are much more aware of their own allergy issues.
Most children who have diagnosed allergies to foods in childhood grow out of it and most do not have anaphalatic shock reactions to the allergic substance or food - they just get hives and feel itchy for a few hours. Real life is not an episode of 'House'. Schools overreact to prevent parental lawsuits and the whole thing gets exaggerated.
Children who do have life-threatening reactions to common foods or substances need to be trained to avoid them and trained not to draw attention to themselves among other children. Children are vicious and unthinking. It's one thing to alert your hostess to a potentially fatal reaction to the clam chowder; it's another to broadcast a fatal weakness to peanut butter among forty 13 year olds.
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