Archive for category Raising Healthy Kids

Five Tips In Teaching Kids To Say No To Drugs

Drug use is considered an epidemic by world governments, and it has become one of the leading health and social problems of this generation. Parents find it extremely difficult to reach out to their children and lead them way from drugs, because chances are they will listen to their friends more than their own mothers and fathers. As a result, kids these days adopt the bad habits of their peers, and parents seem helpless to veer them away from drug abuse.

If you want your kids to stay away from drugs, you should start them early. By teaching them to refuse anyone who offers them drugs, you could help them live better lives in the future.

family drug abuse prevention

Here are five tips that you can use in teaching your own children how to say no to drugs:

1. Set ground rules

As the parent, you need to establish rules that your kids need to follow. Some of the rules that will help them stay away from drugs include setting curfews on weekdays, and requiring them to inform you of their whereabouts after school. Conduct the proper discipline and punishment if they disobey. These guidelines will firmly establish the fact that children should obey their parents, who shouldn’t forget to inject love in these rules.

2. Use role-playing to reenact a potential scenario

This works effectively for children who are still too young to make firm decisions, because parents can teach them the correct way to respond to drug offers. Ask your kids to reenact a potentially real scenario in their everyday life, and play the role of someone who offers them alcoholic beverages or a joint. If they have difficulty responding, guide them to possible replies. Make sure that you teach them strong but friendly answers.

3. Learn about your child’s world.

One of the reasons why kids can’t relate to their parents is because they live in a different world. Try to understand what your children are going through on a daily basis by entering their world without being nosy or intrusive. Ask them about their day, their future plans, their interests, and their social circles.

drug abuse prevention family enjoy kids skating

Best of all, get to know their friends. This is a great way to not only understand your children’s social interaction but also learn if their peers have a good influence on your kids.

4. Take pride in their achievements

Aside from telling them how proud you are of their academic and extra-curricular triumphs, make sure that you give them words of encouragement whenever they share about an experience where they said no to drugs. Refusing peers who offer them alcohol or drugs is a pretty huge decision for your kids, and so make sure that you let them know how you appreciate what they did.

5. Educate them, but don’t forbid them

Much like how children should learn about sex from their parents, teaching them about drugs is an effective way to lead them away from these harmful substances. This might need you to study up on the most commonly abused drugs and their effects on human health.

With that being said, it might not be a good idea to tell them “don’t do drugs”. Teenagers usually respond negatively to reprimands — sometimes to the point of rebellion. In other words, they might do exactly the opposite of what you just told them. Instead of enforcing them to stay away from drugs, teach them what these substances will do to their bodies. Let them decide for themselves — based on your inputs and guidance — to say no to drugs.

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Swedish Teenagers Get Drunk On Hand Sanitizer Gel

Here’s some news that you don’t get to hear often: Hand sanitizers designed to rid the skin of bacteria are now being ingested by teens as a way to satisfy their alcohol cravings.

hand sanitizer gel teen alcohol abuseThis was reported by the BBC, after local police in the Swedish locality of Karlskoga have discovered multiple cases of teenagers drinking anti-bacterial hand sanitizer gels. “Young people have been coming to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning and saying they had drunk alco-gel,” said police representative Stefan Sund.

As a result of this disturbing discovery, police have now ordered the pullout of hand sanitizer gel products in open store shelves so that they are made available only in over-the-counter pharmacies.

Sweden law prohibits individuals below 20 years of age to purchase alcoholic drinks, most of which are being sold in liquor stores regulated by the government. However, some bars and restaurants usually serve drinks to customers as long as they are 18 years old or older. It’s because of this restriction that some teenagers resort to ingesting hand sanitizer products, which contain as much as 85 percent alcohol. Some teens reported to mix these sanitizing products with fruit juices to make the taste more pleasant.

Similar cases were also reported by other countries, mainly due to the appeal of these products to children. Many of the hand sanitizer gels sold in the market come in sweet and fruity flavors, which could mislead kids and teens.

[Image by Jade Jackson via Flickr]

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Teenage Hospital ER Cases Associated With PTSD and Cyberbullying

A new study based on hospital records showed that emergency cases involving teens usually involve some form of violence, cyberbullying, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry, the study looked into ER records of roughly 350 teenagers in Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island.

teen sadness PTSDAccording to the study, 46.5 percent of the teenage emergency cases involved violence inflicted by fellow adolescents. Cyberbullying cases accounted for about 47 percent of the cases, while close to 59 percent reported exposure to community violence.

What was startling about the findings was that at least 23 percent of the teenagers sent to the ER had PTSD symptoms, and roughly 11 percent admitted to have thought about committing suicide within the past year.

Study lead author Megan Ranney explained the significance of the research team’s discovery. “Teens with a history of cyberbullying or peer violence are more likely to have PTSD, which is a very treatable disease if properly identified and addressed,” Ranney said in a news release. “PTSD in adolescents has been associated with long-term functional impairment, including poor physical health, academic failure and increased need for medical services.”

The team believes that their study is a significant step to exposing the dangers of PTSD in teenagers. “These results should serve as a reminder to parents, schools and physicians that these problems are prevalent in our community… PTSD is currently underdiagnosed, underreported and undertreated, especially among children and adolescents,” Ranney added.

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Depression of Parents Linked To Poor Child Performance in School

Your child’s performance in school may be affected by your depressive tendencies. This was revealed by a recent study that delved into a potential link between parental depression and the child’s scholastic attitude.

child school performance parental depressionA research team led by Brian K. Lee of Philadelphia’s Drexel University School of Public Health arrived as this discovery after reviewing depression cases of parents in Sweden, as well as the school records of more than 1.1 million Swedish children born between 1984 and 1994.

Results of the study, as posted in a news report, showed that mothers and fathers who were diagnosed with depression before a period known as the final compulsory school year were more likely to have their kids perform poorly in school. The biggest impact was observed on the depression of the mother, which led to a larger effect on the performance of their daughters in school.

The team believes that their research shows how the psychology of parents can affect how their children act and perform in school “Because parental depression may be more amendable to improvement compared with other influences, such as socioeconomic status, it is worth verifying the present results in independent cohorts. If the associations observed are causal, the results strengthen the case even further for intervention and support among children of affected parents,” the authors said.

The study was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Teens Exposed To Drug Use Show Immediate Antisocial Behavior

A recent study from Duke University in North Carolina discovered a direct effect of drug use exposure on social behavior in teenagers.

peer prescription drug abuseAlcohol and drug use have always been tied to a number of psychological and behavioral problems, but this new study sheds light into a more specific aspect of teen life. “Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate,” according to study co-author Candice Odgers, who works for the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.

The study, which was published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, tapped more than 150 teens between ages 11 and 15 to answer a month-long survey series. The study participants were asked to answer the questions thrice a day using their mobile phones. “Connecting with kids via their devices provided a unique view into their daily lives and, we hope, more valid data as we were capturing events, experiences and behaviors as they happened,” said study lead author Michael Russell in a news item. The survey results were analyzed to check for patterns in terms of exposure to drug use and tendencies of antisocial behavior.

Results showed that adolescents who witnessed use of drugs were more susceptible to experience antisocial misbehavior such as theft, property damage, and violence. “Our findings support the idea that situations where others are using alcohol or drugs may serve as ‘triggering contexts’ for adolescents’ problem behavior,” the study lead author added.

The findings were more pronounced in study participants who were identified to possess the DRD4-7R genotype, a genetic mark associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Diabetes Risk in Teenagers Heightened By Caffeinated Energy Drinks

Before you buy that bottle of energy drink for your kids, check out this latest update from a study by a faculty member of the University of Calgary.

energy drink effect on teensStudy author Dr. Jane Shearer, who works as kinesiology associate at the university, investigated the effects of energy drink consumption on the overall health of teenagers. The study involved 10 male and 10 female teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 who were given one sample each of an energy drink called 5-Hour Energy. For the experiment, the participants were handed a random variant of the energy drink: caffeinated or decaffeinated, with both variants being sugar-free. Forty minutes after drinking the energy beverage, each participant was given a portion of sugar.

Results of the study showed that those who drank the caffeine-containing energy drink variant had 25 percent higher levels of glucose and insulin than the group who consumed decaffeinated drinks. Shearer explained that this might be due to a potential effect of the energy drink in the natural insulin resistance of the body. “If you have a teenager consuming two of these drinks a day and they are susceptible for Type 2 diabetes… Having this dietary habit may promote or accelerate that disease process,” Shearer said in a news release.

Shearer believes that the study could pose as a warning for parents in guiding their children towards avoiding these types of drinks. “We know that about approximately 30 per cent of teens consume energy drinks… We know that about 50 per cent of college-age athletes in Alberta consume energy drinks,” she added.

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