News / Asia

Kids Teased About Food Allergies No Laughing Matter

Elizabeth White has a peanut allergy, mixes peanut powder with a fruit roll-up to buildup her tolerance, December 21, 2006.
Elizabeth White has a peanut allergy, mixes peanut powder with a fruit roll-up to buildup her tolerance, December 21, 2006.
School bullying is a well-known problem, but one particular type is raising fresh concern. It involves children with food allergies. Students, parents and teachers may not be aware that the consequences can be fatal.

Nearly one-third of students diagnosed with food allergies are bullied at school as a result of their condition.

That is according to a new study by researchers at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Results of the study, involving 251 sets of children and parents, appear in the latest online issue of the Pediatrics medical journal.

Students who are teasing their allergic classmates, by doing such things as putting a peanut in their mouths, do not realize that the body's immunological reaction to the food can be life threatening.

In the worst scenario, the children go into anaphylactic shock and die.

The New York researchers say as many of eight percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with food allergies.

The president of the World Allergy Organization, Dr. Ruby Pawankar in Tokyo says schools and societies, at large, need to take more seriously the threats posed by food and other allergies.

“Many people trivialize it thinking of it to be something as small as a rash or even like a runny nose, not realizing that allergy is a systemic condition and it's a very dynamic disease," she said. "So a person can start with just eczema but go on to food allergies which can be fatal, can have drug allergies, can have asthma which itself can be severe.  And if you look at the global prevalence it is rising.”

Dr. Pawankar, a professor at the Nippon Medical School, says that environmental and lifestyle factors are partly to blame for what she terms the allergy epidemic, which is spreading in the developing world, as well.

“Then, of course, there are pollutants, preservatives and additives in foods, reduced bio-diversity which actually affects the gut microbiota,” explained Pawanker. "Those microbes that actually can build the body's immune tolerance towards diseases are lacking in the child. So the child becomes more prone towards developing allergic diseases.

Also, she explains, elements in the environment are responsible for changing the functions of genes, causing an increase in allergies.

Dr. Pawankar herself is allergic to crustaceans and credits quick thinking doctors with saving her life as a teenager in her native India with a quick dose of adrenaline.

Her World Allergy Organization in 2013 intends to raise awareness about the seriousness of food allergies. Its campaign for World Allergy Week (April 8 to 14) will focus on food allergies.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid