The Doctors: Food Allergy Bullying
Kids are getting meaner and their newest form of bullying may be the most potentially life-threatening form of bullying there is.
Have you ever heard of food allergy bullying? According to a survey by Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, out of the 250 families surveyed for the poll, 45 percent of the children with food allergies said they were bullied because of their allergy. Some of those children also reported that they were threatened with food they were allergic too.
The study also found that 50 percent of the parents knew of the bullying and that out of the children being bullied, 80 percent said they had been bullied by a classmate while 20 percent said they had been bullied by a teacher.
Dr. Warner Carr, an allergist and immunologist, told The Doctors some of these children have such severe allergies they are literally running for their lives. He said some children have such severe allergic reactions to some foods that their tongue swells up so large they are unable to breathe and that could all happen if the food simply touches their skin.
Dr. Stork said there are a lot of other symptoms for a food allergy:
- Low blood pressure
- Swollen tongue obstructing the airway
- Difficulty breathing
And for one young man, his allergies have been so severe he has to go to school using a robot.
The Doctors: Seven-Year-Old Devon Severe Allergies Keep Him Inside
Seven-year-old Devon is allergic to most types of foods, from peanuts to milk, as well as household items such as pets and fabric sheets. His allergies are so severe an allergic reaction can literally kill Devon within minutes.
Devon’s mother, Rene, said they found out about his severe allergies early on in his life. His mother said she kissed him one day after eating a cookie and Devon got so sick he needed to be rushed to the emergency room. Over the next six months, his mother fed Devon all types of foods to find out what he is allergic to, but every food she fed him, he would vomit up.
After doctors were able to find out what he was allergic to, they also found out Devon had an airborne sensitivity to food. Devon spends most of his time at home and if he does go anywhere with his mother, Rene is sure to pack her allergy bag for Devon, which is filled with epinephrine shots and other emergency medications to stop swelling in Devon’s throat.
“Living with Devon every day, it’s a struggle,” Rene explained. “It’s high-risk and it’s a very precautionary life.”
The Doctors: Devon Uses VGo Robot To Go To School
Devon’s allergies are so severe that he was not able to attend school until VGo changed that forever. VGo is literally a stand-in robot for Devon at school. Devon is able to stay at home where he is safe from any allergic reactions while VGo heads to school for Devon. VGo sends video and audio back to Devon as he sits at home and communicates with his classmates and teachers.
Devon’s teacher said it is an excellent tool that allows Devon to attend school while at the same time teaching other students the importance of accepting others who are not like themselves.
The Doctors even got Devon out of school for a minute as VGo came onto the show with them so they could ask Devon about how much he likes going to school.