Nearly One-Third of Kids With Food Allergies May Be Bullied

Study found torment is often 'just' teasing but can be more threatening

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Education about food allergies -- for kids and adults -- could help, agreed Dr. Mark Schuster, chief of general pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital.

Parents of classmates, he noted, may unwittingly encourage bullying if they complain because they can't send their child to school with grandma's famous peanut butter cookies.

"When it comes to food allergy, people often roll their eyes," Schuster said. "They think that kids are just trying to avoid a food they don't like. And they may not understand that food allergies can be serious."

Schuster also suggested that parents of kids with food allergies be aware of the possible "clues" that their child is being bullied -- such as not wanting to go to school, appearing down, and complaining of chronic stomachaches or headaches.

More information

Learn more about food allergies from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

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