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Kids might not realize the severity of an allergy prank

It is not uncommon for children across the country to suffer from potentially life-threatening food allergies. Peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten and honey are just a few of the many allergens that can cause such reactions as hives, breathing difficulties or anaphylactic shock. Also common in Wisconsin schools is bullying. Children may participate in pranks or other activities without meaning any real harm and without realizing that their actions could result in serious charges.

One recent incident illustrates this point. It was reported that three middle school girls planned to expose a classmate to pineapple, which the other girl had a serious allergy to. After one girl rubbed pineapple juice on her hand, she high-fived the girl with the allergy. The girl needed to be treated at the hospital and fortunately recovered. Unfortunately for her three classmates, the girls are facing criminal charges, including harassment, reckless endangering, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.

As this incident shows, those who participate in a potentially harmful prank do not necessarily have to be actively involved to be charged with a crime. There was only one girl who made contact with the allergic girl, but since the other two helped her plan and carry out the prank, they were also charged. Children may not think about the potential consequences of their actions before playing a prank, harassing, teasing or harming another child. For this reason, it is necessary that their parents seek legal advice to help them determine the best way to move forward.

Source: USA TODAY, "Pineapple-tainted high-five sends allergic girl to hospital, 3 teens face charges," Sean Rossman, Jan. 26, 2018

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