Leave Me Alone!

Children with asthma are more likely to be bullied

(RxWiki News) Socializing and participating in activities can sometimes be difficult for your children if they have asthma. And in worse situations, your children may get picked on as well.

A study presented at a conference unveiled several reasons that could explain why children with asthma have a greater risk of being bullied.

"Encourage kids to participate socially."

The study, led by Will Carroll, MD, from the Derbyshire Children's Hospital in the UK, looked at 943 surveys taken by parents and children aged 7 or older from six countries.

The questions asked what life was like at home, what kind of lifestyle they had, and how they felt about their lives in order to see what increases the risk of being bullied.

Researchers found several factors that affect kids' risk of being bullied, though the results are still preliminary and need to be reviewed. This included participating less in sports and feeling sad.

Other contributing factors that could be improved are poor asthma control, parents who smoke, and parents who continually worry about their child's health.

The authors spoke of the need for doctors to talk to children with asthma about bullying.

"As doctors, we must work with families to ensure these risk factors are removed and work with schools and teachers to ensure children with asthma are able to participate in sports at a level that is safe for them," Dr. Carroll said at the convention.

David Supple, the parent of a child who has asthma, said he has made an effort to ensure his son isn't excluded from groups and maintains a diverse circle of friends.

"When you have a child with exercise-induced asthma it can be really hard to get them to participate," Supple said.

"You can be scared to push them - but the health and social benefits far outweigh the fear, and can help build a lifetime of confidence against bullying."

The study was presented Sept. 2 at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna, Austria.

Review Date: 
September 7, 2012