Bullying based on food allergies is on the rise – what actions should be taken to stop it?
Kids can be cruel to one another for all sorts of reasons. Children who are too fat or too thin or those who have few friends are commonly targeted by schoolyard bullies, but new research finds that children with food allergies are also vulnerable. Nearly half of kids with food allergies say they’ve been bullied, and a third report that the bullying was food-related. In the most concerning cases, the kids said they were taunted by other kids who stuffed allergens into their mouth or threw food at them.
“These were acts that could actually be life-threatening,” says Dr. Eyal Shemesh, lead author and an associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Even if it’s limited to teasing, that is still upsetting. If you are allergic and someone threatens to stuff a peanut in your mouth, they only need to do it once for you to…
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