Although it is commonly known that children experience bullying over food allergies, new research suggests that parents and guardians do as well.
Nearly 1 in 5 parents or guardians of children with food allergies are bullied by a multitude of sources, according to research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACCAI) Annual Scientific Meeting.
Children are often bullied about food allergies, according to investigators and parents; however, a new survey indicates that parents and guardians can also be bullied for their children’s allergies.
In a survey of 252 parents and guardians of children between 4 and 17 years of age, more than 17% said they had been bullied for their child’s allergies.
According to the study, nearly 50% said that taking steps to stop the bullying of their children helped. The most common option was speaking with a teacher, of which 17% said they had done so. Speaking with a principal or administrator was the second most common option, with 15% reporting that they had done so.
Thirteen percent chose to speak with their child, whereas only 7% spoke directly to the offender or the offender’s parents. Additionally, although there were no significant differences in percentages of Black and White children who were bullied over food allergies, Black children were bullied twice as frequently.
“No child or their parent should be bullied because of their food allergies," said Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, ACAAI, in the press release. "And it's of course equally important that Black children with food allergies not be bullied for additional reasons. Having a food allergy puts tremendous stress on the entire family and any form of bullying makes life that much harder.”
Nearly one in five parents of food-allergic children are bullied [News Release] November 13, 2020; Arlington Heights, Ill. Accessed November 13, 2020. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-11/acoa-noi110420.php.