Yesterday, in celebration of Food Allergy Awareness Week, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) launched a nationwide public service announcement called, “It’s Not a Joke.” Their goal is to educate teens and adults who do not have food allergies or anaphylaxis, who might not understand this disease can be life threatening. It’s easy to forget that food allergy bullying can have serious physical and emotional consequences. Let’s be honest, it still is hard for me to digest that a teeny tiny sesame is as deadly as gun. Therefore, I can understand where lack of understanding is born.
“Bullying is a social issue that many people can identify with on an emotional level because they have either seen their children experience it, or experienced bullying first hand. By presenting food allergies within this context, we hope to spark discussion, increase awareness and understanding of the serious nature of food allergies and anaphylaxis, and begin to change the way the public views food allergies,” explained FARE in their recent press release. Shake It Up on the Disney channel, from Shake It Up on the Disney channel, who has food allergies also donated his time to provide the voice over for the Public Service Announcement.
image courtesy of FARE
Visit FARE’s Food Allergy Bullying: It’s Not a Joke webpage for tips on prevention and addressing food allergy bullying, read two stories from teens who were bullied and find more resources. My own son experienced food allergy bullying a few years ago and didn’t realize it was bullying until he saw the other student receive a suspension and the school taking a hard stance. The other student had a bag of nuts in her hand and fake tossed it at him. A teacher witnessed the event and took action right away. My son thought it was a bad joke until we all explained that if the girl slipped and a bag of nut sprayed all over him, then there would be trouble. Even more concerning was what if this girl did that to a friend of ours who is airborne allergic to nuts? She could have sent him to the hospital fighting for his life just from the possible dust that may have been airborne (luckily this did not happen to my son). Even our own children managing food anaphylaxis need to be made aware.
Thanks FARE for helping raise additional awareness around bullying and food allergies and anaphylaxis!
Have you ever been bullied with food as an adult or child? If so, please share how you handled the situation.
please share this video with teachers, coaches and friends, let’s all raise awareness together.