Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 09-10-2012 to 09-16-2012

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:54 pm

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 25 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

First Pediatric Study to Look at the Role of Vitamin D in Critical Illness   http://t.co/y1aBmqXw

My Child Has Been Bullying Someone Online – What Now?

Last updated on September 24th, 2012 at 01:27 am

Learning that your child has been cyberbullying another child can be overwhelming. Emotions like shock, denial, embarrassment are normal, but they need to be set aside as your focus should be on doing everything in your power to rectify the situation and help your child learn from their mistake.

There are three important factors to consider when doing this. First, action needs to be taken on your child’s part to set things right. Second, there needs to be a discussion between you and your child about the consequences of cyberbullying—they are very real and potentially very serious. And third, there are some steps you can take at home to help prevent this from happening again.

Helping your child apologize:

  1. A face-to-face apology to the victim and his/her parents is much more meaningful than a phone call or email. I recommend accompanying your child when they do this.
  2. If other children were involved in the same cyberbullying incident, then you and your child should alert the other parents so they can respond appropriately.
  3. Your child should delete the offensive material that was shared online and replace it with an apologetic comment.

Discussing the consequences of cyberbullying:

  1. While cyberbullying laws vary by state and school district, a cyberbullying offense has the potential to result in academic expulsion. If the case is severe, misdemeanor or felony charges could apply, potentially ruining your child’s chances of getting into college or landing a job in the future.
  2. If your child is a minor, you may find yourself sued for libel due to your child’s online actions.
  3. In the end, knowing the consequences can help your child learn valuable life lessons.

Five ways to prevent this from happening again:

  1. Limit the amount of time your child spends online, and when necessary take breaks from technology altogether. Remember, a steady balance of indoor and outdoor activity is essential to a healthy mind.
  2. Invest in parental monitoring software. This can be a great way to stay aware of concerning activity on their computer or smartphone. A lot of software products push information to you in real-time, allowing you to be proactive versus reactive.
  3. Implement a family technology contract. This will help your children have a clear understanding of the rules related to their use of technology, and consequences for breaking those rules.
  4. Remind your child that it is never, ever okay to be disrespectful, hurtful or mean to another person, online or offline.
  5. Finally, give your child a hug. Remind them how much you love them. Let them know your first job is to be their parent and that you’re there to help them learn from their mistakes.

Pediatric Safety Announcement: Welcome Mary Kay Hoal!

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:55 pm

Please join us in welcoming our new Child and Family Online Safety Expert Mary Kay Hoal to the PedSafe Expert Team!

How to Share Parenting Responsibilities & Not Starve Your Child

Last updated on September 13th, 2015 at 01:35 am

When I had my son – a decade ago now! – I knew nothing about babies and children. I was an only child growing up and my cousins lived spread out across the vastness of Western Canada. Dealing with a new baby was terrifying and I sought out all sorts of information from (hopefully) reliable guides and experts. So much so that a friend of mine dubbed me the “book mom.” However, over the early months and subsequent years I have determined that many of the skills and tools learned through my life and career are applicable to childrearing. Even just good problem-solving skills and analysis of detail helped me think through what on earth this baby might want now!

More recently, I’ve seen how management tools for assigning roles on projects can be valuable in overseeing the health and safety of a child – or even broader management of a household. I started thinking about this when our process for giving Elliott an allowance began unraveling. We had begun giving Elliott a small amount of money when he was quite young, mostly to help curb the “I want, I want” syndrome. That worked beautifully, but as he got older we wanted to use the allowance as more of a way to instill discipline and apply consequences for good and bad behavior. The problem was that we had lost the habit of giving the allowance regularly, since that hadn’t been important when he was younger. Now it was required if we were to link the money to completing certain tasks around the house. But the issue was that each time my husband and I missed our allowance deadline, we seemed to think the other one was going to get the money from the ATM, or sit down with Elliott to go over the week’s progress.

And I saw this issue in other areas, ones that could negatively impact our son’s health. Like who was responsible for making sure he got his allergy medicine mornings and evenings? Who was going to make sure he had his bath on the assigned nights? Who thought about getting him breakfast or lunch on the weekends? It couldn’t always be me since I wasn’t home every evening and needed to run errands some weekends.

In my career I had often used an approach called RACI to help ensure everyone’s role on a project was clear – which stood for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed. Many people can be “responsible for” or “consulted /informed” about a task – but only one person can be accountable. This person has to feel like he or she is on the hook for the completion or success of the task, no matter who else is involved. I realized that the root of many of the issues my husband and I were having was that – while we were both responsible at various times for baths, medication, meals and allowance – no one really felt accountable for these tasks.

After this revelation, we made a few changes. I took accountability for baths. If I wouldn’t be home on bath night, it was my job to remind my husband about the task – I also added a note on each of the days to our family calendar that hangs in the kitchen. My husband is now accountable for allergy medicine – which means he has to remind me about giving the doses, and make sure we always have a ready stock. In the end we divided up accountability for allowance. My husband has to make sure we have a stock of bills for allowance, but I’m accountable for reviewing the week with Elliott and giving him his money. Our new approach isn’t perfect and some things still drop through the cracks, but at least we’re no longer pointing at the other person when they do.

Is Your Stress Harming Your Kids?

Last updated on September 26th, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Money worries, job demands and a lengthy to-do list have us stressed to the max… and it’s taking a toll on our kids. A 2010 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that children who said their parents were stressed said they were stressed too. They reported feeling sad, worried or frustrated – and their parents had no idea, according to the survey.

Stress is bad for your well-being, but it puts kids at risk too. Numerous studies show that chronic tension is damaging to children’s mental, physical and oral health. “Our children pick up our feelings and concerns. When we’re stressed, it makes them worry. And when we’re calm, they feel more secure and content,” says educational psychologist Michelle Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.

Here, a few research-proven and expert-recommended tips to ID stress effects in your kids, reduce their anxiety, and keep your own tension in check.

Spot the stress signs. Since most kids can’t just come out and say, “I’m stressed!” the APA advises watching for these red flags:

  • Acting irritable or moody
  • Withdrawing from favorite activities
  • Expressing concerns
  • Complaining more than usual
  • Crying
  • Clinging to a parent or teacher
  • Sleeping or eating too much or too little
  • Experiencing stomachaches and headaches, which can be a side-effect of stress

Give them some control. Giving kids choices and a sense of control over a situation helps them deal with stress better, according to The National Institutes of Health. Give them a heads-up on any changes or decisions that might affect them, so they can process the information without feeling blindsided.

Get physical, together. Exercise releases endorphins – your body’s natural stress-reducers. Go on a family hike, take a bike ride, or dance around the living room. And to keep your own stress at bay, start a regular exercise routine.

Avoid unnecessary stressors. Say no to extra responsibilities when your plate is already full. Skip movies, TV shows or news stories that make you tense. Bow out of social situations that are uncomfortable. And stay away from people, places and things that make you anxious or unhappy.

Be accepting. Can’t change a problem? Change yourself. By choosing to see the positive in a challenging situation, stepping back to gain perspective (how important is this in the long run?), and abandoning perfectionism.

Cuddle up. When you feel your anxiety level rise, take a cuddle break. A simple back rub or a big hug can release your child’s tension — and help you relax in the process. Plus, a snuggle with your spouse can boost your heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress hormones and releasing oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone,” according to a study conducted by The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Protect your time. Part of reducing stress is nurturing yourself so you’re better able to handle life’s zingers. Whether you like to garden, bake, read mysteries or hit the mall, set aside “you” time every day. And don’t forget to laugh! It helps your body beat stress – and it keeps your kids smiling too.



Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 09-03-2012 to 09-09-2012

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 10:36 am

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 10 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Almost half of U.S. kids with autism bullied http://t.co/nunyZkY7 very scary statistic