In prior research, parents of children with food allergies have reported that their children are often bullied by classmates, as well as parents of other children and teachers. Study investigators who conducted a survey children aged 4-17 found that nearly one in five parents of children with food allergies are also the targets of bullying from multiple sources. “We know children are often bullied about their food allergies,” said Dannielle Brown, MHS, lead author of the study, in a press release. “What we weren’t aware of was how many parents are bullied by multiple sources. Of the 252 parents or guardians we surveyed, more than 17% said they had been bullied.” Many parents/guardians said it was helpful to take steps to end the bullying, with 13% saying they spoke with their child, 7% with the offended or the offender’s parent, 17% with a teacher, and 15% with a principal or school administrator. Nearly half who took such actions said doing so was helpful. “No child or their parent should be bullied because of their food allergies,” said Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, co-author of the study, in a press release. “Having a food allergy puts tremendous stress on the entire family and any form of bullying makes life that much harder.”
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