While bullying of children with a chronic condition is common, according to a new study presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna, there are several factors that explain why such kids are at a greater risk of bullying.
More specifically, this new research uncovers the reason why asthmatic kids are at a risk of being bullied. The study also goes on to highlight that doctors need to speak to such kids on the subject of bullying. The disease could likely be impacting the other areas of their life.
The research was conducted by researchers from the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital in the UK; children aged seven years and above and their parents formed the part of this study.
A total of 943 questionnaires with questions on domestic conditions, lifestyle and experience of parents and children were used to collect information.
According to the results revealed by the study, several factors are strongly related to the risk of bullying in asthmatic children among which reduced participation in sports and feelings of sadness were found most strongly correlated. Other factors also found associated with risk of bullying are poor asthma control, parental smoking and parental worries over their kids’ health. These are also the factors that could be improved according to the study.
According to Dr Will Carroll of Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, the findings show that doctors and nurses need to speak to parents to make them aware of the impact of their condition on overall quality of life.
“We know that bullying is associated with asthma and these findings can help us understand why this is case,” Dr Carroll said.
Dr Carroll further maintained:
A number of the factors identified are things that can be changed, such as participation in sport, asthma control and parental worry over their child's health. 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.
According to David Supple whose child is asthmatic, it can be hard to get children to participate for parents who have children suffering from exercise induced asthma. However, he is also aware that health and social benefits outweigh the fear.
“We have made a real effort to include our son, Alex in as much sport as we can to ensure that he isn't excluded from different groups and to keep a wide balance of friends,” he says.