Not every child who has had a burn injury will be bullied, but a child with a scar may be more susceptible to it. Remember, it is not OK for any child to be bullied. The charity Changing Faces recommends that the advice to ‘just ignore it’ is not an effective strategy to deal with bullying.

What can you do if your child is bullied?

  • Encourage your child to talk about their feelings
  • Encourage your child to spend time with supportive friends
  • Reinforce your child’s sense that adults can help to increase their feelings of control and confidence
  • Take all reports of teasing, name-calling and bullying seriously, and challenge all unkind behaviour
  • If you are there when bullying happens, be firm and understanding. Let the other child know that it is not OK to name call, threaten or bully, and tell them what behaviour you would like to see. You may want to speak to their parent or teacher.

What can your child do if they experience bullying?

  • Walk away from the situation as calmly as possible
  • Look confident: stand or sit up straight, keep their head held high, and look people in the eye
  • Use positive self-talk (‘I can spend time with people I like’ or ‘I will go and find my friends’)
  • Go to a safe place or person, or a group of supportive friends
  • Not react aggressively to name-calling – bullies thrive on a reaction
  • Use a calm, friendly, and puzzled tone of voice, with rehearsed phrases – ‘so?’ or ‘excuse me?’ or ‘and the point is?’ – then walk away feeling in control.

Changing Faces and the Children’s Burns Trust have lots more useful advice and support.