According to CNN’s article, Allergy Bulling: When Food is a Weapon, “35% of kids over age 5 with food allergies have endured bullying, teasing or harassment. Parents of children with food allergies reported in the study that these incidents—both physical and verbal—happened because of food allergies” (Landau).
Thanks to my own life-threatening peanut allergy (anaphylaxis) I spend a lot of time and brain energy at college trying to keep myself safe. It’s challenging and scary. But at least, as an adult, school isn’t nearly as dangerous for me as it could be for a child with my allergy because I don’t deal will allergy bulling. I can’t even imagine how scary that’d be.
“It’s hard for parents of food-allergic children to keep them safe at school when there are so many opportunities to eat snacks and meals with unsafe ingredients. For some kids, just touching a certain food or inhaling particles of it could cause a reaction” (Landau). That’s something Mr. Munger and I have talked about before. Hopefully, if/when we have kids they won’t share my peanut allergy but if they do, school would be a very unsafe place for them.
Elementary schools are unsafe even for me as an adult. I used to volunteer to read with second graders, but I can’t risk it anymore because so many of the kids have peanut products for lunch. If I read with a child who’d just eaten something with peanuts, I could end up in the ER. So I can’t even imagine how scary it’d be as a kid to be bullied with something that could literally kill you.
Do you or your kids have any experience with allergy bullying? Thankfully, my peanut allergy started later (I was 21 when it decided to join my list of food foes), so I never experienced living with a life-threatening allergy as a child. It sounds terrifying for both the child and the parents.