Dr. Sai Nimmagadda shared with Advocate Children’s Hospital that there is a new trend that is endangering children with allergies called food allergy bullying.
Researchers estimate that 5.9 million children under age 18 in the United States have a food allergy. That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. And more than 40 percent of them have experienced a severe or life-threatening reaction. That’s why food allergy bullying is so dangerous.
It is happening in schools all over the country. In a recent case near Pittsburgh, three teenagers were charged with intentionally exposing a classmate to pineapple despite knowing she had an allergy to the fruit. The student had to receive immediate treatment. And a 7-year-old Utah boy came home in tears after his classmates threatened to make him eat peanuts — knowing he was severely allergic. Others report having food thrown at them.
These incidents are not rare. A recent study by Mount Sinai Medical Center found that nearly a third of kids with a food allergy have experienced similar bullying. Read more