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6 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immune System

We don’t just have to accept our child’s current state of health. We can actually take measures to boost their defenses, speed healing, and help them to gain a greater level of wellness.

Here’s how:

1. It starts with a great diet.

Children’s immune systems can take a hit if they’re constantly being bombarded with food intolerances, additives, preservatives, and sugar. When a child has a food allergy, her digestion suffers, inflammation is ramped up, which makes fending off viruses and bacteria much more difficult. It’s a similar story when a child takes in more additives and preservatives than her body can deal with.

Sugar has been shown in many clinical trials to actually suppress immunity. To keep kids well, limit their overall intake of additives, sugar, and find out which foods are allergens. Focus on plenty of fresh veggies, whole fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and meat.

2. Maintain your child’s microbiota!

Probiotics are the friendly helpful bacteria that naturally occur in our guts. They protect our digestive tracts, help us to digest food, assist in toxin clearance, and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. When this bacterial balance becomes disrupted in children, we can see changes in a child’s ability to fend off infections.

I recommend starting children on a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains early on — between 5 and 20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day depending on age.

3. Help calm their stress and anxiety.

In today’s fast-paced world, parents are overstressed, children are over-scheduled, and everyone suffers. Children’s bodies have the same response to stress that adults’ do — their cortisol and adrenaline rises. When this elevation in stress hormones is sustained, their immune systems’ response is lowered.

It’s important for children to have lots of down time, time for creative play, and simply times of rest. Busy bodies need to take a break every now and then for their immune systems to thrive.

4. Make sure they’re getting enough good sleep.

Most children are not getting the required amount of sleep. Depending on age, children need between ten and 14 hours of sleep per day. And it’s the quality of sleep that matters most. For proper secretion of melatonin (our sleep hormone), children need to sleep in the dark, without a night light. Since electromagnetic frequency has also been shown to affect sleep quality, make sure your child’s room is unplugged. Make sure all electronic devices are unplugged or better yet, just keep them in another room.

5. Remember that fever helps fight infection.

Although many parents panic at the first sign of a rise in temperature on the thermometer, it’s important to recognize that fever is only a sign of and not an illness itself. Fever is your child’s body’s response to an infection and without it, her body isn’t as effective at fighting the illness. The truth is, your child’s immune systems works better at a high temperature too, so she can get better quickly. Please note that while I do encourage fevers, it’s important to see a physician to make sure the fever is not a sign that something else is going on.

6. Supplements and herbs can work wonders.

The best supplements to boost a child’s immune system are vitamin D and zinc. The herbs elderberry and astragalus are my favorites for recurrent respiratory tract infections. For allergies, fish oil, vitamin C, and nettles work wonders. Please make sure to see your physician before starting your child on any new supplement or herb regiment

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watering can

How school gardens help our children grow stronger As well as helping children lead happier, healthier lives today, the research showed gardening helped them acquire the essential skills they need to fulfil their potential in a rapidly-changing world and make a positive contribution to society as a whole. The 3 Rs of School Gardening Although the benefits of gardening as a teaching tool are many and varied, we’ve identified 3 core areas in which children’s lives are radically improved. They become: 1. Ready to learn 2. Resilient 3. Responsible Specifically it found that gardening in schools encourages children to: • Become stronger, more active learners capable of thinking independently and adapting their skills and knowledge to new challenges at school and in future; • Gain a more resilient, confident and responsible approach to life so they can achieve their goals and play a positive role in society; • Learn vital job skills such as presentation skills, communication and team work, and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit; • Embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle as an important tool for success at school and beyond; •

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monkeymmmmmmmmmmm

book mouse

pink hat

 

Molly the mouse was walking to school with Cheeky Monkey
When the wind blew off her hat into a tree,
“I will get it I will get your hat for you”
Without further ado
Cheeky Monkey chased the hat it blew into the middle of the road
Molly looked worried she knew how dangerous the road can be
“No! No! She shouted look at all the traffic can’t you see?
“You must wait at the crossroads for the little green man to appear.”
Cheeky Monkey just ran and ran he didn’t listen,the hat was near
Molly waited for his safe return
She knew Cheeky Monkey didn’t listen to her concerns
All Molly could do was sit and watch
Her brave friend weave and dodge
The traffic in his plight to capture her hat
Molly just wanted her friend back
That is why it is always best
To use the green cross code
You will always be safe on the roads

Gillian Sims

This poem was taken from Manners Bear And Friends my new children’s poetry book  now available at Waterstone’s

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Learning to ride a bike is a developmental milestone in the life of a child. The bicycle, a child’s first vehicle, is a source of pride and a symbol of independence and freedom. Yet all too often children are seriously injured, or even killed, when they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules. The following is a list of common bicycle safety myths, coupled with the correct information you need to teach your children about safe bike riding. These facts will help you and your children make every bike ride safe.

Myth: My child doesn’t need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood.

Fact: Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. In fact, the majority of bike crashes happen near home. A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.

Myth: A football helmet will work just as well as a bicycle helmet.

Fact: Only a bicycle helmet is made specifically to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking. Other helmets or hard hats are made to protect the head from other types of injury. Never allow your child to wear another type of helmet when riding a bike.

Myth: I need to buy a bicycle for my child to grow into.

Fact: Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. Your child does not have the skills and coordination needed to handle a bigger bike and may lose control. Your child should be able to sit on the seat, with hands on the handlebars, and place the balls of both feet on the ground. Your child’s first bike should also be equipped with footbrakes, since your children’s hand muscles and coordination are not mature enough to control hand brakes.

Myth: It’s safer for my child to ride facing traffic.

Fact: Your child should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers. Almost one fourth of bicycle-car collisions result from bicyclists riding against traffic.

Myth: Children shouldn’t use hand signals, because signaling may cause them to lose control of their bikes.

Fact: Hand signals are an important part of the rules of the road and should be taught to all children before they begin to ride in the street. They are an important communication link between cyclists and motorists. Any child who does not have the skills necessary to use hand signals without falling or swerving shouldn’t be riding in the street to begin with. Many accidents involving older children occur when they fail to signal motorists as to their intended actions.

Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.

Fact: It’s never safe for your child to ride a bike at night. Night riding requires special skills and special equipment. Few youngsters are equipped with either. Never allow your child to ride at dusk or after dark.

Myth: I don’t need to teach my child all of this bicycle safety stuff. I was never injured as a child. Biking is just meant to be fun.

Fact: Riding a bike is fun – if it’s done safely. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured each year in bicycle falls. Worse still, more than 600 children die from them each year. While you may have been lucky enough to survive childhood without a serious bicycle-related injury, you shouldn’t count on luck to protect your child.

Teach your child these basic safety rules:

  1. Wear a helmet.
  2. Ride on the right side, with traffic.
  3. Use appropriate hand signals.
  4. Respect traffic signals.

Basic safety measures like these can keep bicycle riding enjoyable and safe for your child. 

 

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A friend of mine was at home one evening with her three sons, ages 8, 6 and 1, and her mother. Her husband was away on a business trip. A fire started in the microwave in the kitchen and quickly spread to other rooms. She told her 8-year-old to grab the baby and get outside. Then she got her 6-year-old and her mother out and called 911 from her cellphone. In that moment, she realized how lucky they were: Their home was badly damaged, but her family was safe.

In my 10 years at the National Fire Protection Association, I’ve heard many tragic stories about home fires. But I’d never personally known anyone who had experienced one until it happened to my friend. And it’s because of experiences like hers — and those of other families who were not so lucky — that the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week, taking place October 6-12, is “Prevent Kitchen Fires.”

Our mission this week is to spread the word about how dangerous kitchen fires can be — and provide safety tips that can prevent them. Did you know that …

1. More fires start in the kitchen than in any other place in the home. Two of every five home fires start there.

2. Cooking fires are common — and deadly. On average, they cause 44 percent of home fires, 15 percent of home fire deaths and 38 percent of home fire injuries each year.

3. Multitasking while cooking is not a good idea. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, responsible for one-third of them.

4. Frying is the #1 activity associated with cooking fires. Cooking oil or grease can easily catch fire if it gets too hot — and because frying is typically done in an open pan, a fire can spread easily once it starts..

5. The most common equipment involved in home cooking fires? Ranges or cooktops, which accounted for 58 percent of fires. Ovens accounted for 16 percent.

6. An electric range is more dangerous than a gas range. That’s because, with an electric range, it may be less obvious that a burner is on — and because burners on electric ranges stay hot for a period of time even when turned off.

7. Microwave ovens are more dangerous than you think. They’re one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries, accounting for 44 percent of the microwave injuries seen in emergency rooms in 2011.

8. In the kitchen, it usually isn’t fires that burn young kids. More often, it’s contact with a hot stove or pans or a scald from hot cooking liquids or steam. In fact, children under age 5 accounted for 55 percent of tableware scalds, 42 percent of contact burns from ranges or ovens, and 34 percent of microwave scalds in 2011.

9. What you wear while cooking makes a difference. Though loose clothing was the item first ignited in only 1 percent of home cooking fires, these incidents accounted for 16 percent of cooking fire deaths.

10. Taking matters into your own hands can make matters worse. Three out of five people who were injured during cooking fires were injured while trying to fight the fire themselves.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your family safe.

1. Cook only when you’re alert — not when you’re exhausted, not when you’ve been drinking.
2. Keep an eye on what you fry. If you have to step away from the stove, turn it off.
3. Keep things that can catch fire — such as dish towels, potholders and paper towels — away from the stove. And avoid cooking in your bathrobe — the loose sleeves can catch fire easily.
4. Keep hot things away from the edges of tables and counters.
5. Open microwaved food slowly, and keep the food away from your face.
6. Have a “kid-free” zone of at least 3 feet around the stove and anything hot — and never hold your child while you’re cooking or carrying something hot.
7. Teach kids to stay away from the stove and hot foods.
8. Keep pets off cooking surfaces.
9. Install smoke alarms in the kitchen, outside each sleeping area, inside each bedroom, and on every level of your home (including the basement).
10. If you have a fire, just get outside, stay outside and call the fire department.

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, Someone died from a fire every 169 minutes in 2014. Countless others suffered burns in the home. Many of these injuries and deaths might have been prevented with a working smoke alarm or some simple home safety tips. With a little thought and preparation, you can protect yourself and the ones you love. Here’s how.

Preventing Burns While Cooking

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s not surprising that most accidental burns occur there. Fortunately, many of these burns can be prevented. Here are a few tips to help you make your kitchen a safer place. 

  • Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back or center of the stove.
  • Keep items such as dish towels, plastic bags, and long sleeves away from the heating surface.
  • Never cook while holding a child or pet.
  • Keep small children and pets away from the front of the oven or stove.

First Aid for Kitchen Burns

If despite your best efforts, you or a family member suffers a burn in the kitchen, follow these first aid tips:

  • Run cool water over the burned area, soak it in cool water (not ice water), or cover it with a clean, cold, wet towel.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile bandage or a clean cloth.
  • Protect the burn from pressure and friction.
  • Use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.
  • Do not apply butter, ice, fluffy cotton dressing, adhesive bandages, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a burn.
  • If a burn appears to be severe or you develop signs of infection, call your doctor.

Preventing Scalding Burns

Of the many types of burns that can happen in your home, scalds may be the most unexpected. Thousands of people are injured each year by hot liquids and many of them are young children. Children have thinner skin than adults and are more likely to receive severe burns from hot liquid. Simple precautions can protect you and your family from scalding burns

  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Always test bath water before placing a child in the tub.
  • Never leave a child unattended in the bathtub.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back or center of the stove so children cannot tip pots over.
  • Never warm baby bottles in the microwave; they may heat unevenly and can burn your baby’s mouth.
  • Use mugs or coffee cups with lids when you are around children.
  • Keep hot liquids like soup, coffee, or tea away from the edge of counters and tables.

First Aid for Scalding Burns

If you or a family member suffers a scalding burn, take the following steps to start healing:

  • Remove any clothing that is wet from the hot liquid.
  • Slowly cool the injury under running tap water for 30 minutes.
  • Do not apply ice, because it may stop important blood flow to the damaged skin.
  • Do not apply butter or salves to scald injuries.
  •  A COMMENT OR GIVE US YOUR  ADVICE

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TEETH

My sons teeth are awful he has cavities in all his front 4 teeth as far as I can see his bottom ones are fine but my view of the rest at the top is not good i’m devastated. I don’t know what to do.

They’ve been bad for a couple months and just getting worse and worse he is only 3 and all the research I can find say he is going to have to have them pulled, how can a 3 year old go 5 years with no front teeth.

They get brushed twice a day but not for long he doesn’t mind his teeth being brushed on the bottom but won’t ever let me get to the top ones never has done and now this has happened and it’s all my fault and I don’t know what I’m gonna do.

I’ve been in tears for days just thinking of it, I know I need to do something or the next stage is them turning black getting infected and falling out.

He already has a chip in one of his front tooth from when he was a younger baby and so this adds to the bad look of them.

I feel I’ve set my son up for a lifetime of dental work and I’m heartbroken.

I can’t let him get them pulled out it’s just not fair, but they’re so bad and I know I’m risking things.

I can’t bring myself to book a dentist appointment. I’ve really messed up. Why did I never try harder..

He still drinks from a bottle at night, it’s his only comfort thing he has, no dummy or blanket or special toy. All he wants is his bottle and he gets very happy when he gets it at night and tonight he cried himself to sleep because I couldn’t give it to him, I just want my son to be happy though? He doesn’t understand why I’ve taken it away, he can’t speak and has limited understanding.

I don’t know what to do, I really don’t. I’m gutted, so gutted, absolutely devastated…my poor boy…..

I just needed to rant. Does anyone have any advice or ever had a kid with such bad teeth? Will he face being picked on with no front teeth? How will it affect him? Omg.

YOUR COMMENTS AND ADVICE COULD  PREVENT KID’S TEETH FROM DECAY!

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DUM

 

Deciding w
hether to give a baby a dummy remains a hotly debated topic.

There are good reasons both for and again, so it all comes down to parents’ choice. We look at the facts in the dummy debate.

The pros: A few reasons to use a dummy

There are many good reasons to use dummies — just ask any parent who’s managed to get a moment of peace with the judicious use of one. But a bit of peace isn’t the only plus. Others include:

  • Protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The Department of Health advises that giving your baby a dummy at the start of any sleep period may reduce the risk of SIDS. Use the dummy when putting baby down to sleep — don’t put it back in baby’s mouth once he’s already asleep.
  • Helping babies pacify themselves. Infants need ways to help soothe themselves and a dummy can be a source of comfort for a crying or colickybaby.
  • It satisfies the suck reflex. Some babies have a need to suck that exceeds the time they get on the bottle or breast. For these infants, a dummy can meet this very real need.
  • Easier weaning. When you’re ready for a child to stop, it’s much easier to wean them from a dummy than off their thumb.

 

Cons: Reasons to avoid a dummy

While some parents hope to avoid dummies altogether, many experts don’t think that’s necessary. Yet there are a few issues to watch for when using a dummy:

  • Research has suggested that there may be a link between use of a dummy and recurrent ear infections in young children.  Researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but suspect it may be due to a change in pressure between the middle ear and upper throat. The Department of Health advises that parents who give their child a dummy should not be overly concerned by these research findings. It was not clear, it notes, whether parents participating in the research had a tendency to use dummies to soothe young children who were prone to recurrent ear infections.
  • If a dummy is introduced too early, there’s the risk of nipple confusion for a baby who’s just learning to suckle. When a baby is being breastfed, it’s best not to give a dummy until breastfeeding is well established, usually at about one month old.
  • Parents can mistakenly offer a dummy when the baby really needs nutrition-based sucking, such as a breast or bottle.

Babies who are overzealous suckers, or who use a dummy for long periods, may have problems as their teeth grow and develop.  Overuse of a dummy can also hinder speech development, which is why it’s recommended that you try to limit the times your baby uses a dummy, and to wean your baby off the dummy completely by the age of one.

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Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know.

 

 

The very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are the groups who are particularly at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

“There is considerable evidence that heatwaves are dangerous and can kill,” says Graham Bickler of Public Health England. In August 2003, temperatures hit 38ºC (101ºF) during a nine-day heatwave, the highest recorded in the UK.

“In the 2003 heatwave, there were 2,000 to 3,000 excess deaths [more than usual] in England. Across Europe, there were around 30,000 excess deaths.”

Public Health England’s heatwave plan 2014 (PDF, 1.19Mb) has advice on how to cope during a heatwave. Knowing how to keep cool during long periods of hot weather can help save lives.

“Most of the information is common sense,” says Bickler. “It’s not rocket science, but it can have a dramatic effect.”

When heat becomes a problem

An average temperature of 30°C by day and 15°C overnight would trigger a health alert (this figure varies slightly around the UK). These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least two days and the night in between.

The Meteorological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely. Level one is the minimum alert and is in place from June 1 until September 15 (which is the period that heatwave alerts are likely to be raised).

  • minimum alert – people should be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised
  • level two alert – there is a high chance that a heatwave will occur within the next few days
  • level three alert – when a heatwave is happening
  • level four alert – when a heatwave is severe

Why is a heatwave a problem?

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

  • dehydration (not having enough water)
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion
  • heatstroke

Who is most at risk?

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people in extreme heat are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

Tips for coping in hot weather

The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or on the Met Office website.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

Find out more about what to do during a heatwave alert level twolevel three or level four.

If you’re worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority.

Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat. Find your local authority on the GOV.UK website.  

How do I know if someone needs help?

If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.

Seek medical help if symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away.

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bull

Guidance for parents and young people on cyberbullying, including advice for ending (or preventing) the cycle of aggression. For a more comprehensive look, see A Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying

For kids and teens

Know that it’s not your fault. What people call “bullying” is sometimes an argument between two people. But if someone is repeatedly cruel to you, that’s bullying and you mustn’t blame yourself. No one deserves to be treated cruelly.

Don’t respond or retaliate. Sometimes a reaction is exactly what aggressors are looking for because they think it gives them power over you, and you don’t want to empower a bully. As for retaliating, getting back at a bully turns you into one – and can turn one mean act into a chain reaction. If you can, remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, sometimes humor disarms or distracts a person from bullying.

Save the evidence. The only good news about bullying online or on phones is that it can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You can save that evidence in case things escalate. [Visit ConnectSafely.org/cyberbullying for instructions on how to capture screens on phones and computers.]

Tell the person to stop. This is completely up to you – don’t do it if you don’t feel totally comfortable doing it, because you need to make your position completely clear that you will not stand for this treatment any more. You may need to practice beforehand with someone you trust, like a parent or good friend.

Reach out for help – especially if the behavior’s really getting to you. You deserve backup. See if there’s someone who can listen, help you process what’s going on and work through it – a friend, relative or maybe an adult you trust.

Use available tech tools. Most social media apps and services allow you to block the person. Whether the harassment’s in an app, texting, comments or tagged photos, do yourself a favor and block the person. You can also report the problem to the service. That probably won’t end it, but you don’t need the harassment in your face, and you’ll be less tempted to respond. If you’re getting threats of physical harm, you should call your local police (with a parent or guardian’s help) and consider reporting it to school authorities.

Protect your accounts. Don’t share your passwords with anyone – even your closest friends, who may not be close forever – and password-protect your phone so no one can use it to impersonate you. You’ll find advice at passwords.connectsafely.org.

If someone you know is being bullied, take action. Just standing by can empower an aggressor and does nothing to help. The best thing you can do is try to stop the bullying by taking a stand against it. If you can’t stop it, support the person being bullied. If the person’s a friend, you can listen and see how to help. Consider together whether you should report the bullying. If you’re not already friends, even a kind word can help reduce the pain. At the very least, help by not passing along a mean message and not giving positive attention to the person doing the bullying.

Additional advice for parents

Know that you’re lucky if your child asks for help. Most young people don’t tell their parents about bullying online or offline. So if your child’s losing sleep or doesn’t want to go to school or seems agitated when on his or her computer or phone, ask why as calmly and open-heartedly as possible. Feel free to ask if it has anything to do with mean behavior or social issues. But even if it does, don’t assume it’s bullying. You won’t know until you get the full story, starting with your child’s perspective.

Work with your child. There are two reasons why you’ll want to keep your child involved. Bullying and cyberbullying usually involve a loss of dignity or control over a social situation, and involving your child in finding solutions helps him or her regain that. The second reason is about context. Because the bullying is almost always related to school life and our kids understand the situation and context better than parents ever can, their perspective is key to getting to the bottom of the situation and working out a solution. You may need to have private conversations with others, but let your child know if you do, and report back. This is about your child’s life, so your child needs to be part of the solution.

Respond thoughtfully, not fast. What parents don’t always know is that they can make things worse for their kids if they act rashly. A lot of cyberbullying involves somebody getting marginalized (put down and excluded), which the bully thinks increases his or her power or status. If you respond publicly or if your child’s peers find out about even a discreet meeting with school authorities, the marginalization can get worse, which is why any response needs to be well thought out.

More than one perspective needed. Your child’s account of what happened is likely completely sincere, but remember that one person’s truth isn’t necessarily everybody’s. You’ll need to get other perspectives and be open-minded about what they are. Sometimes kids let themselves get pulled into chain reactions, and often what we see online is only one side of or part of the story.

What victims say helps most is to be heard – really listened to – either by a friend or
an adult who cares. That’s why, if your kids come to you for help, it’s so important to respond thoughtfully and involve them. Just by being heard respectfully, a child is often well on the way to healing.

The ultimate goal is restored self-respect and greater resilience in your child. This, not getting someone punished, is the best focus for resolving the problem and helping your child heal. What your child needs most is to regain a sense of dignity. Sometimes that means standing up to the bully, sometimes not. Together, you and your child can figure out how to get there.

One positive outcome we don’t often think about (or hear in the news) is resilience. We know the human race will never completely eradicate meanness or cruelty, and we also know that bullying is not, as heard in past generations, “normal” or a rite of passage. We need to keep working to eradicate it. But when it does happen and we overcome it – our resilience grows. It’s not something that can be “downloaded” or taught. We grow it through exposure to challenges and figuring out how to deal with them. So sometimes it’s important to give them space to do that and let them know we have their back.

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Kids Smoking Cigarettes

Every day, hundreds of kids smoke a cigarette for the first time. A third of those kids will become regular daily smokers. When it comes to adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at 18 or even younger. A lot of adolescents develop an addiction to nicotine and find it very hard to quit their smoking habits.

What are the Signs that a Child is Smoking?

There are a few different ways to be able to tell if your child is smoking. If your child uses an extreme amount of perfume or cologne, he or she is attempting to cover up a scent that could be smoke. If your child is constantly chewing gum or breath mints, they could be trying to mask the scent of smoke on their breath. Sometimes if they haven’t attempted to hide the smell of cigarette smoke, you can smell it on them when you lean in to give them a hug or a kiss on the cheek. If your child is moody, it can mean a nicotine addiction is beginning to set in.

What can You do with a Child who Smokes?

If you find out that your child is smoking, the first thing to remember is to react calmly. A lot of kids smoke for different reasons including peer pressure or even depression. Remove the cigarettes from the child’s possession. Discuss with your child why he or she began smoking. Kids respond a lot better to a discussion than to a lecture. Set up rules about smoking and discuss what will happen if you find them smoking again. Find out how they got the cigarettes in the house and whether or not they have someone supplying them with the cigarettes.

DID YOU KNOW? 

Many governments have restrictions on smoking tobacco in public places because of the dangers of secondhand smoke. As of right now, Bhutan is the only country in the world to ban harvesting, cultivating, or selling tobacco products. Many more countries hope to have cigarette bans in the coming years.

What are the Effects of Kids Smoking Cigarettes?

Smoking cigarettes can have effects on both adults as well as kids. People who smoke are more susceptible to infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Smokers have an increased risk of developing heart disease, many different types of cancer, and stroke. Smoking can cause problems with fertility in both males and females. Teens who smoke are more susceptible to problems with their skin and bad breath. Smoking can also hinder athletic performance.

What are Some Ways to Keep a Kid Smoke Free?

One of the biggest ways to keep a child smoke free is to teach them when they’re young about the dangers of smoking. Children are curious and are eager to please. Peer pressure and bullying can lead a child to begin smoking as early as middle school. Set an example for your child. If a kid’s parent smokes, then the child won’t see anything wrong with smoking. Teach your child about the importance of turning down cigarettes and other things that can harm them, even if it’s hard.

What are Other Dangers of Smoking?

One of the biggest dangers of smoking can be secondhand smoke. Sometimes an adult can smoke for a long period of time and never have a problem, but the second-hand smoke can give their child or spouse lung cancer. Secondhand smoke can give a young child asthma and can cause problems with a pregnancy. Smoking isn’t just dangerous to your own body, it’s dangerous to those around you. Teach your child to remember the dangerous effects smoking can have on the people that they love.

Kids who smoke cigarettes aren’t bad kids. They’re more likely to just be caught up in what’s perceived as cool or hot. If you have a child who smokes, sit them down and just talk with them. Smoking is a dangerous habit and can lead to fatal diseases. Set ground rules and don’t let them push the envelope. They will thank you for it later in their lives.

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