Allergic children often bullied with potentially fatal food
January 6th, 2013
01:15 AM ET
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In kindergarten, Owen Kellogg came home sobbing one day because another boy at school had told him that he had a peanut, and that he was going to force Owen to eat it.

Owen, now 7, is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, said his mother, Haylee Kellogg of Cedar Hills, Utah. In reality, the taunting boy did not have a peanut, but Owen didn't know that - he just knew that eating a peanut could make him stop breathing.

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.

But on top of the safety question is a social one. A study released last week suggests that almost half of children who have food allergies have been bullied - sometimes by having food thrown at them.

Read - Allergy bullying: When food is a weapon

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Filed under: Allergies • Health News • Peanuts


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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Lianne Mandelbaum

    No Nut Traveler
    I am the mother of a peanut allergic child who based on the experience below, is now scared to fly.

    The commercial airline industry lacks a consistent policy concerning peanut and tree nut allergies, and this inconsistency puts children at risk. There is a sad history of intimidation involving the DOT (Department of Transportation) and the peanut industry and their lobbyists, and the various attempts at legislation have been quashed.

    The NY Times recently wrote an article about our journey http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/what-should-airlines-do-about-children-with-peanut-allergies/?_r=1&

    November 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  2. Netify

    Speaking of the bible... reminds me of Solomon's observations:

    Ecclesiastes 8:9

    9 All this I have seen...[during] the time that man has dominated man to his injury,

    And the Bible says: "But know this, that in the last days+ critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves..., disobedient to parents, unthankful... having no natural affection, not open to any agreement,...without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness," – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

    Only one solution: Daniel 2:34-35, 44, which is the outworking of Matthew 6:9-10 (the lord's prayer).

    Read online for yourself if you would like to learn more: http://www.jw.org, search on 'Kingdom'

    August 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Alicia

    I blame mass hysteria. If so many people didn't pull the over-hysterical food allergies omg going to die when they really aren't, people may not be so tough on or non-understanding about people who really do have life threatening allergies. Gluten-free is suddenly the newest diet fad, so those who are incredibly allergic to it aren't taken seriously.

    Children with food allergies should be taught at the earliest age possible how to protect themselves and those who don't have them should be taught better than to bully, and that some foods others cannot eat, and to keep their lunches to themselves so they don't trade and accidently get somebody sick.

    But for the love of all things holy, parents, don't keep all your eggs in the "everything at school should be peanut free" basket! Teach your kids to look out.

    August 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Micki M

      Maybe if you had a child with a peanut allergy that potentially could kill them then maybe you would feel different my son is four and yes I have been teaching him about his allergy since he was diagnosised at age one and half but he is still four he does not know how to read ingredients on packages so it is up to me to protect him and if that means requesting that they take peanut or nut products out of the schools it's a no brainier I choose life over death for my son.

      August 30, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Fed-Up

      Yeah, the kid in Maryland who died because some other kid accidental her something with peanuts REALLY DESERVED to have someone do it on purpose, & totally deserved to have people be mean to her about it, too.

      What an ASTOUNDING STUPID concept.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  4. JaLee

    I remember many incidents throughout elementary school of us kids being horribly mean to each other even while we were being taught about the Bible and going to church. 2nd grade to 4th grade was the worst, but even in middle school and high school the same kinds of pressures still existed, just less obvious. As adults we tend to forget what a nightmare it is to be a kid, mainly due to the behavior of our classmates. Besides studying math and English kids should also get classes to socialize with each other appropriately. They are spending 6-7 hrs a day away from their parents without adult guidance outside the classroom. Even worse now they bully each other from home over the internet.

    July 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Fbo

      Very well said.

      July 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  5. Truth™

    It is always sad to me to see the myraid number of ways that humans have found to be buttheads to each other.

    January 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • AleeD®

      It is, more often than not, caused by someone being a butthead to the bully. Sad beyond measure.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:55 am |
      • denim

        bully-as-victim, huh? Not buying that bs.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Fed-Up

        What TOTAL CRAP.

        October 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
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