May 12-18 marks Food Allergy Awareness Week, created by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (now called FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education). This year’s focus is on a growing problem: food allergy bullying.
One-third of children with food allergies are bullied because of it (with the food they are allergic to). I have experienced this myself, as an adult, with gluten. Some people find it amusing to see how scared I am of “just a piece of bread” on my plate. How hard it must be for a child to have to process something like that! And for the children with life-threatening food allergies, how scared they must truly be to go to school when something like that is happening.
FARE’s “It’s Not a Joke” campaign is to raise awareness of this growing trend of food allergy bullying in an effort to stop it. If we, as parents, adults, educators, etc., can understand the consequences and discuss it with children, perhaps many of these incidences can be prevented. Please watch and share the PSA.