Monday, April 25, 2011

Bullying sends kids to nurse for more than injury | Reuters

Both bullies and their victims take more trips to the nurse's office than other students - but not just for the obvious reasons.

In a new study published today in Pediatrics, kids involved in bullying were more likely to see the school nurse for illnesses and non-medical symptoms, in addition to injuries.

The finding means that school nurses could be the front line for spotting cases of bullying and bringing them to a stop.

Enlisting school nurses could be "another way of trying to keep a gauge of what's happening among the students in school," Eric Vernberg of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

"A lot of times, kids may experience some conflict, some bullying, and not involve the teacher or not tell a parent or not tell anybody really," he said, "particularly for a kid that's embarrassed about the difficulty they're having or afraid that saying things about it is going to make it worse in some way."

Recently, evidence has been piling up that being bullied can take a psychological toll on kids -- both during the bullying and later, when they are adults.

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