According to an article published on the American Academy of Pediatrics website, at least 1 in 10 middle school students reported being bullied within the past year.
Victims of bullying often suffer from serious emotional scarring, low self-esteem and in severe cases, depression and sometimes suicide.
Verbal abuse is the most common form of bullying, which can often be more detrimental than physical abuse. Therefore it is important for parents to be able to recognize signs of bullying in their children.
Signs to look for in children who are being bullied are changes in eating habits, coming home from school with unexplained injuries or damaged or missing belongings, making excuses not to go to school, acting out of character, avoiding certain places or playing outside alone, trouble sleeping and self-blame.
Fortunately, more and more efforts toward bullying prevention and intervention have been initiated throughout the country.
Here in the community, Cone Health has an exceptional network of pediatricians, behavioral health specialists and other related medical professionals dedicated to educating and counseling children and families on bullying and how to intervene if it becomes a problem.
Dr. Carmen Thomas is a board-certified pediatrician at Greensboro Pediatricians and a member of the Cone Health medical staff.
Dr. Thomas received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and residency training in pediatrics at Duke University Hospitals.