Asthmatic children likelier to be bullied

Children who suffer from asthma may be more likely to be subjected to bullying than those without the condition. This is according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna, which gave a number of reasons as to why this is the case.

Investigators from the Derbyshire Children's Hospital discovered asthmatic children may be teased because the condition means they are unable to fully participate in sport, while they might also be more prone to feelings of sadness.

Other factors associated with bullying were found to be parental smoking, poor asthma control and parental concerns about their child's health.

Dr Will Carroll from the Derbyshire Children's Hospital said: "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."

The researchers noted the findings show the need for doctors to speak to kids with asthma about any personal problems they may be experiencing.

Dr Mike Eslea, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Central Lancashire, comments:

"Schools do a lot to reduce bullying nowadays, compared to even a few years ago, and they are generally successful at reducing the amount and severity of bullying, and its impact. This research is a useful reminder that children who are preceived as weaker or different can still suffer disproportionally, and that schools need to take care to make sure all pupils are considered in designing anti-bullying interventions."