Teens and Self Injury

CuttingThough many parents don’t want to believe their teen would self injure themselves, many more are realizing it is their teenager that is actually cutting.  Why?

  • Peer pressure?
  • Depression?
  • Drug use?
  • Anxiety?
  • Stress?

According to experts, one of the most common reasons teens self injure is because the injury is in some way a “release” from emotional anxiety. The pain of the injury provides a distraction from the emotional pain the teen is feeling, and acts almost as a drug to them. It can also help the injured feel ‘human’ again, by putting them in touch with a common human experience: pain.

If you discover that your teen is cutting, there are several important keys to remember. First and foremost, approach your teen with a level head. Address your teen calmly and supportively. Do not react angrily or upset your teen in any way.

Experts warn that overreacting or reacting loudly or angrily can often push your teen further away and increase the cutting or self injuring behaviors. Your teen needs to know you are open to hearing what she has to say and getting her the help she needs. You should also tell your teen that you are not upset with her, love her, and know she is in a lot of pain.

Counseling for a teen that cuts is crucial. It can often take many years of therapy before your teen is willing or able to uncover the reasons she/he cuts herself.

If you feel your teen is in need of residential therapy please visit www.helpyourteens.com.

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How to Get Your Children to Care About Their Health

Special Guest Post:

It’s far too easy, when you are young, to ignore your health and indulge in all of life’s vices. Unlike an older body, a younger body can easily bounce back from unhealthy choices, but this doesn’t mean those bad choices aren’t hurting your wellbeing. In fact, the health decisions that you make when you are young will stay with you for the rest of your life, especially if you don’t make any changes in your lifestyle as you get older.

According to studies cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical inactivity increases the risk of dying prematurely from diseases like colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. An increased risk of disease and illness is also associated with eating a poor diet, and these consequences apply to everyone…even young children.

Studies like these highlight the importance of encouraging your children to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although it wouldn’t be helpful to force changes upon your child, there are ways to guide them down the right path. It’s isn’t always easy to choose health over convenience and short-term satisfaction, but by discussing the following four issues with your kids, you may be able to help them understand why taking care of their health is so important.

Good Health Will Help You Succeed in Life

Although success doesn’t require that you be healthy, it sure doesn’t hurt the cause. It’s not easy to work 40 hours (or more) every week when you don’t eat well, don’t exercise and don’t get enough sleep. Sure, the majority of people do this, but one look at the health statistics of our nation and you’ll see that we aren’t winning that battle. Our workforce is lethargic, depressed and uninspired, and one of the reasons why is because we don’t do what’s best for our health. Explain this to your child, and discuss more reasons why it is easier to achieve life goals when you are healthy and strong.

Learn by Example

There is probably an elderly member of your family or a family friend who can be used as an example of good or poor health. Point them out to your child and ask your child to observe the consequences (whether positive or negative) of this particular person’s health choices. Learning by example is an age-old method that can be very effective. Too often, young people ignore the elderly. By making your children aware of the effects of growing older, you could change their minds about their own lifestyle choices.

Health Care Isn’t Cheap

When you are young, you are completely oblivious to the costs and implications of having good health care. Once your child reaches an age where they can understand the concept, find a moment to explain it to them. Show them how your insurance plan works, and share with them the costs associated with premiums, co-pays and co-insurance. Then explain to them how maintaining a healthy lifestyle can save money on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs.

It’s Not Fun to Be Sick

It’s so easy to forget about how you felt the last time you fell ill with the flu or caught a cold from your friend. Being sick is not fun. It can keep you from doing the things you want to do in life; even the simple things. Remind your child of a time when they felt ill. This will help them better understand the difference between feeling well and feeling ill and will hopefully make them see why they shouldn’t take their health for granted.

Another great way to communicate the importance of being grateful for (and maintaining) your health is to ask your child to be mindful and supportive of those who are currently suffering from illness and disease. Teach them about compassion and community service, and encourage them to volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.

Lastly, leading by your own example is always the best foundation for whatever life lesson you want to teach. Try your best to live by the same values you instill in your children, and the chances of your child maintaining those values will be very likely.

Brenda Watson is a researcher/writer for HealthInsuranceQuotes.org. Her articles cover topics ranging from how to find the best insurance for you or your family to advice on personal health and fitness. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys running in the park and watching The X Factor. Feel free to leave your comments and questions for her below!

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/physicalactivity/facts.htm

Fake Online Pharmacies and Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

You know how important and life-saving prescription drugs can be for yourself, and also for your children. There is nothing you want more than to keep your children safe from harm. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation and their AWARxE Consumer Protection Program want you to become AWARxE of the growing amount of fake Internet pharmacies that are selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.

Founded in 1904, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is the impartial professional organization that supports the state boards of pharmacy in protecting public health.

Many Internet sites hawking prescription drugs are actually fake and their products could cause more harm than good. There are documented cases of adults in the US harmed by counterfeit drugs and the effects of such products could be potentially be much worse for a child. We must do everything we can to keep our children and families safe and healthy.

Counterfeit pills sold online often contain too little or too much of the requested medication, the wrong medication altogether or harmful substances. Toxins such as glue, chalk, and rat poison are used by counterfeiters to make these pills. Drug counterfeiters do not care about your child’s health; their goal is to make a profit. Some fake online pharmacies may even falsely claim to be Canadian to seem like a safe source for medicine. By some estimates, as much as 90% of the medication bought online may be fake.

 

AWARXE wants consumers to know about the safest way to purchase prescription medications online. When ordering prescription medication online, look for the VIPPS (Verified Internet Practice Pharmacy Sites) seal, and check the VIPPS list on AWARErx.org to make sure the site is listed there. VIPPS-accredited sites are in agreement with all federal and state regulations and NABP safety standards. Some VIPPS-accredited sites may even offer discount prescription programs to help offset the cost of medications.

More about VIPPS:

· AWARXE advises patients to use VIPPS-accredited Internet pharmacies when they opt to order medications online, and to learn how to avoid fake Internet pharmacies selling dangerous counterfeit drugs.

· NABP has reviewed more than 9,600 websites selling prescription drugs.

· Only 3%, or 291, of these sites appear to be in compliance with state and federal laws and NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards.

· The other 97% of these sites are considered rogue sites and are listed as Not Recommended on the AWARxE website, www.AWARERX.ORG.

The best and most effective way to help fight this problem is by spreading awareness. To learn more about where to properly buy prescription medications online, please visit www.AWARERX.ORG.

 

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Teen and College Drinking: Sobering Facts

Alcohol can kill.  It is that simple.

It is easy for educators and parents to become overdramatic when warning young students about the dangers of alcohol.

Flooded with extensive media coverage of seemingly every college drinking death, their genuine concern can become panic.

The truth is, most college students who drink do not binge, and suicide may even be a higher cause of death among this demographic. Nevertheless, one alcohol-related student death is too many, especially since it’s so easily prevented.

With that in mind, here are 10 sobering reminders why you should drink responsibly.

1) Nearly 2,000 students die from alcohol-related injuries each year.: Every year, an estimated 1,825 students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from injuries sustained by excessive alcohol consumption. This works out as nearly one death for every two colleges in America. Incredibly, another 599,000 are unintentionally injured due to the effects of alcohol. Out of 4,140 colleges in the U.S., both public and private, this factors out to 145 injuries for every single campus. (It should be noted, however, that the methodology for finding these statistics has been questioned.)

2) College drinking deaths rose 26.7% from 1999 to 2005: Deaths of students from alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related accidents are certainly nothing new. College administrations have been making strides in educating students about the dangers of binge drinking for years, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be having a positive effect on the number of student drinking deaths. On the contrary, the number is actually rising. The 1,825 deaths calculated in 2005 were an increase of almost 27% from the 1,440 deaths calculated in 1998.

3) Freshmen account for more than one-third of college student deaths: When it comes to alcohol-related deaths, the first year of college is easily the most dangerous. A USA Today study done in 2006 found that although freshman account for only about 24% of the total population of college students, they make up much more than their share of the number of deaths. For example, they accounted for 40% of undergraduate suicides, 47% of undergrad deaths on campus, and half of deaths from falls out of windows and off rooftops. Of these deaths, one out of five was found to have been drinking.

4) Fifty-three percent of college students have experienced depression, and less than one-third seek help: With all the pressure, the separation from family and familiar surroundings, and the lack of sleep college students are faced with, depression is a very common ailment on campus. More than half of college students will experience some form of it, and the majority of them will not seek help. The answer for many is to drown their sorrows in alcohol. A 1998 study found as many as 1.5% of students tried to commit suicide because of drinking and/or drug use.

5) At least one student has died from drinking in college hazing rituals every year for more than four decades: Hazing goes back to at least the 1800s and possibly even before. It’s always been used as a way of putting a person through a trial to earn membership in a select group. But to put it bluntly, if the person is killed, what’s the point? Since 1975, thousands of lives have been needlessly thrown away in hazing rituals, devastating their families and usually spelling the end for the organizations they were trying to join.

6) In 82% of hazing deaths, a huge amount of alcohol consumed is involved: Alcohol is sometimes referred to as “liquid courage,” and it’s plain to see why the vast majority of college student athletes and pledges to fraternities and sororities would need to be brave when going through hazing. It can involve beatings, public humiliation, or simply being forced to chug copious amounts of alcohol. As one researcher, professor Hank Nuwer, put it, “We’re talking levels which would be approaching, basically half of your blood system being filled with liquor.”

7) Chico State University student Matthew Carrington died from binging on water : Because of the amount of negative attention hazing has received in recent years, many schools have banned alcohol from Greek functions. To get around this, many college groups have taken to forcing pledges to drink huge amounts of water or milk, either of which can be lethal in large quantities. In 2009, Matthew Carrington died after water absorbed into his blood after his fraternity mates forced him to drink from a five-gallon jug of water that they kept refilling.

8) Eighty-three of the college student deaths from 1999 to 2005 were of underage students: There is a reason the U.S. has a legal drinking age. Hopefully, at least, people over 20 are better equipped to handle peer pressure and know when to call it quits on a night of drinking. They also have two or three years of college under their belt and don’t need to hit the first party they see and get as drunk as humanly possible. But 83 underclassmen died in six years as a result of alcohol poisoning because they weren’t mature enough to drink responsibly.

9) At a 0.15 BAC, chances of a car crash due to drunk driving are 200 times higher: Although the number of deaths due to college students drinking and driving may have been overestimated in the past, there’s no shortage of students still getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. One in five students admitted to driving drunk in a four-year study that concluded in 2010. No states allow driving at a blood-alcohol level over 0.08%. Even at this level, drivers are still about 10 times more likely to be in a (potentially fatal) car crash.

10) A Colorado State University student died of alcohol poisoning with a BAC of 0.436: On a Friday in 2004, Samantha Spady started drinking at 6 p.m. and consumed an estimated 40 cups of beer and shots of vodka. When she was found the next day, her body had a blood-alcohol level of 0.436, an astronomical figure that the coroner said was probably higher earlier in the evening of her death. The most sobering part of her story is that her friends had no indication she had been poisoned by alcohol and was dying; they had left her in a room “to sleep it off.”

Source:  Online Colleges

April is Alcohol Prevention Awareness Month.  You can never talk to your teens or tweens enough about the risks of drinking.

PACT Prevention Coalition of St. Johns County offers parent resources and help for parents with teens struggling with substance abuse or if you suspect your child is using drugs or drinking.

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Unplugging your teens and getting them outside and moving!

In many area’s – it is winter, and many kids are glued to TV’s or some sort of screen.  Unfortunately even without our four seasons kids are attached to many sorts of screens!  Isn’t it time to get them moving?

Have you ever wanted to bottle up a child’s energy?

Does your teen need to do more than text or use social media?

Yes, they will stop moving when there is a screen in front of their faces. It could be a TV screen or a computer screen but if they can see it they immediately assume a seated position and time will be lost. So even the most active children can have moments of lazy times in front of the TV or playing a video game. This becomes a problem if you would not recognize your child standing up or without that glazed look he gets while staring at the TV.

Sedentary activities can be allowed if they are monitored and do not become a lifestyle.  In today’s world of video games, iPods, Tablets, and texting we see more kids preferring to exercise their fingers over their bodies.  As parents we need to encourage a healthy way to stay active and burn off excess fat and calories before it becomes a problem.

Since children naturally have a ton of energy and love to play then engaging them in physical activity should not be too difficult. It is recommended that a child get 60 minutes of moderately intense exercise a day.

The one hour can be split up in half or quarters but the main goal is to make them sweat for more than not cleaning their rooms for at least 60 minutes daily. This alone can have a tremendous effect on keep their weight now and keeping them healthy.

Ways to keep your child active:

  • Martial Arts
  • Swimming
  • Join a team sport
  • Take the dog for job or a long walk
  • Bike riding
  • A quick morning routine of jumping jacks, running in place, push-ups and crunches followed by more activity later in the day.
  • Raking leaves
  • Doing yard work for an elderly neighbor
  • Walking a neighbor’s dog
  • Toss a football
  • Go on a nature hunt.
  • Play catch in the front yard.
  • Kickball
  • Surfing

There are plenty of ways to keep moving. It seems so many try to calm their child down or have them satisfied by video games and TV. This will not give children the physical activity or mental stimulation they need to live a healthy life. A lot of that pent up frustration and fidgety behavior is an active kid just waiting to throw a football or go on a nature walk.

Make this a family activity and everybody wins.  Families who are active have active children.  With a rise in childhood obesity it is essential that we find activities the children enjoy.  One of the best ways to encourage an activity is by making it a family sport or activity.

Everyone in the family will benefit from working out together.

Source:  Nanny.net

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2012 School Lunches: Make them Healthy for Your Kids and Help Prevent Teen Obesity

If you haven’t heard about Jamie Oliver’s movement across our country to make a change in school cafeteria’s it is time to listen up.

This year, more people were talking about school food than ever before. With childhood obesity finally accepted as a scary national epidemic, politicians, the press, and a whole lot of parents were examining how and what we feed our kids. The Food Revolution has been in the mix all year long.

Last December a divided Congress managed to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which defines the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and all aspects school food. It brought an historic $0.06 increase in school lunch funding, plus new requirements for transparency and community involvement.

As mandated by law, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed new standards forthe food on the lunch tray. Grounded in science-based recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, they included important new provisions like adding whole grains, reducing salt and saturated fat, and specifying a diversity of fruit and veg. When the proposed USDA rule was opened for public comment, 25,000 Food Revolutionaries shared their thoughts with the government. In total, more than 150,000 letters were sent to Washington from people all across the country.

What can you do?  Get our community involved!  Join Florida’s Food Revolution Communityclick here and sign the petition!

Facebook Statuses: What is your teen saying – Should you be concerned?

Is your teen acting withdrawn?  Secretive? Shutting down their screen as you walk by? Losing weight? Gaining weight? Changing friends?  Recent boyfriend break-up? Depressed?

Especially at the holidays, teenagers can feel blue just like some adults.  Know how your kids are feeling.

What are their Facebook status saying?

“Forgive me.”
“When will this end?”
“I hate my life”

RED FLAGS and parenting.  Know them!

Facebook is the social hangout of the internet for all ages, but it is particularly true of teenagers.
Teenagers often are much more open about what they are thinking and feeling in this cyber environment than most older adults. Since teens experience many emotional ups and downs, it can be easy to dismiss most of their dramatic postings as nothing more than normal teenage drama. However, there have been too many instances in recent years when parents had wished they’d paid more attention to what their teenager had posted as their ‘current status’.
Here a few status updates parents should watch for and investigate further.

  1. I can’t take it anymore. Although, this could mean anything from homework overload to sibling irritation, it could also be a cry for help from a teen who is truly overwhelmed with life in someway. It is not a status update that you want to ignore. Parents should take the initiative and find out what prompted this entry.
  2. Text me. This may seem innocent enough, but, for some parents, it may be a signal that their teen may be trying to keep something hidden that needs to be in the open. Privacy and protection are always a fine line to walk with teenagers. Parents, however, should never hesitate to ask about the reason behind such a post.
  3. Really loaded right now. If your teen is high enough to make this post on Facebook without thinking about the fact that their parents might see it, there is drug or alcohol abuse going on. Ignoring these types of problems does not make them go away.
  4. Depressing song lyrics. Song lyrics are popular posts from teens. It may be what they’re listening to at the moment or a song that is running through their head. If the lyrics of the songs are continually negative and depressing, this could be an indication of the teen’s emotional state, as well.
  5. No one understands. This is a common feeling during teenage years, but it is also one that can develop into a true depressive state. Seeing this posted as your teen’s Facebook status should raise enough concern for their parents to pursue the reasons behind the posting.
  6. I hate my life. Again, this is not an unusual statement to come from a teen at different points in their adolescence, however, posting it as your Facebook status is similar to shouting it from the rooftops. It is always better to treat these statements seriously, than to ignore them as a simple impulse statement.
  7. Forgive me, Mom & Dad. This kind of post would be one that should require immediate connection with your child. If it doesn’t mention what they are asking forgiveness for, it may be a subtle plea for you to stop them from doing something terrible. Take this very seriously!
  8. You’re all going to die. In light of the terrible things we have seen happen in our schools, a teen who posts something like this should not be ignored. “I was just joking” is not an acceptable explanation for this type of post. A teen who posts such a statement publicly should expect inquiry from, not only his parents, but school and law enforcement as well.
  9. I wish I were dead. Never assume these statements are words only. Any type of suicidal expression like this should be taken very seriously. Many parents have had the misfortune of finding out that even a verbal statement can be an indication of suicidal thoughts. A public posting of that thought should be taken just as seriously.
  10. I hate my school. The key word in this status update is ‘my’. It doesn’t say ‘I hate school’, it is more specific than that. It would behoove the parents to find out what it is, about the child’s school, that made them post this statement, and what can be done to improve the situation.

Facebook status updates reach a lot of people, a parent of a teenager should definitely be one of those people who pays attention to what their child is broadcasting into cyberspace. It may be their way of trying to find out if anyone is really paying attention, and if anyone really cares.

Source: My ISP Finder

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