Local doctor delivers pens addressing bullying of children with food allergies
PEPPER PIKE, Ohio – As a mother of two young boys with food allergies, Dr Abigail Glick, MD, may be in a better position than most parents of these children to deal with emergencies that come their way. .
Over the years, she counts seven trips to the hospital to deal with emergencies when her sons, now aged 7 and 9, ate foods to which they are allergic. Glick admits that these situations are “scary” even for a pediatrician like her, but also notes that there are other things her children can be subjected to that can be painful as well.
The mother of three – she also has a 5-year-old boy with no food allergies – was moved to write a book after learning of an incident with her eldest son while at summer camp at the age 5 years.
“Basically a kid came over and shoved a brownie in my son’s face, who was eating Oreos – Oreos are the standard thing they give them if they can’t have dessert (others have) – and the little boy said, “Take a bite, take a bite of my brownie.” My son kept saying no, no, but (the other boy) kept putting (the brownie) in my son’s mouth.
“I don’t know if you call it bullying because he was 5 years old and didn’t know the consequences. But my son was scared. (Glick’s son) is now 9 and he still isn’t talking to this boy. It just stuck in his mind.
Glick, in fact, decided to start his recently published book, “Bullying Leaves a Bad Taste: Anti-Bullying Initiative for Children and Teens With Food Allergies,” with a quote from his son, using a statement he made after the brownie incident. . He said: ‘No one understands why a camper would put a brownie in my face if they know I’m allergic. It could kill me. ”
“He thought, literally, ‘This kid is trying to kill me.’ He couldn’t understand why the other boy was doing this to him. The camp did nothing either. The advisers didn’t even notice it. People, I think, aren’t even aware of looking for this sort of thing.
Glick said that even adults, when they learn of her sons’ allergies, are known to make comments like, “I eat this peanut for you.”
Her oldest son is allergic to eggs and milk, which may mean bread, cookies, and cheese burgers are off limits, along with nuts like pecans and cashews. Her 7-year-old is allergic to peanuts and sesame, legumes and milk. A simple handshake from someone who has eaten a peanut can lead to an emergency if that hand is then brought to the mouth and peanut residue is ingested.
Boys’ allergies mean their parents have to be extra careful with what they eat. Six of her boys’ seven trips to the hospital emergency room were when Glick was with the boys and they accidentally ate something they shouldn’t have eaten. Knowing that she has to keep her sons close, Glick said, “We sit in the car outside when they’re at birthday parties.”
Regarding the severity of food allergies, Glick, a pediatric endocrinologist, said, “People think of an allergy and they think, ‘Oh, that’s a itchy, runny nose. Not much. This is not true, however, as a reaction to a food allergy can, in some cases, lead to death.
Her sons’ allergies became so central to Glick that she decided to focus on founding in 2015 and running the Northeast Ohio Food Allergy Network, or NEOFAN. NEOFAN has approximately 500 parent members of children with severe food allergies. About one in 13 children suffer from such an allergy, while one in two report being bullied. One third of these bullying incidents are related to a child’s allergy.
As principal, Glick runs the community school and education and training programs in NEOFAN camps with Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital teaching hospitals, which prepare principals and staff of schools and camps to manage food allergy.
Glick drew on the experiences of NEOFAN parents and partnered with three others to write “Bullying Leaves a Bad Taste”. These doctoral co-authors include Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis, Patrice M. Yasuda, and Chad A. Rose.
“As parents, we look to books for things like potty training and preparing for the first day of kindergarten,” Glick said. “But I noticed there weren’t any books on bullying.
“Bullying associated with food allergies is different from other types of bullying because friends and adults, including teachers or camp counselors, may not understand the seriousness of food allergies and the direct and immediate risk that these situations present, ”said Glick.
“Bullying Leaves a Bad Taste” comes out as another camp season is about to begin and May, which is food allergy month. The book can serve as a resource guide for anyone, including family members, friends, classmates and teachers without food allergies, as well as doctors, nurses, guidance counselors and psychologists. The book seeks to help readers understand the seriousness of food allergies, the situations affected people face, and how they can help prevent or stop bullying.
The book helps children learn to identify when a situation is or is not bullying; differentiate between four types of food allergic bullying; and apply anti-bullying tips with exercises to love yourself, connect with others, and talk with adults. Through real-world scenarios, the book can guide children and teens in putting into practice a “Say-Do-Tell plan,” while adults are guided on what signs to look for and questions to ask. to the child.
To learn more and see a video, visit neofan.org/book. Glick said the books are available for free in schools.
“Bullying Leaves a Bad Taste” is available for $ 19.99 at Amazon.