Thursday 25 October 2018

The Not So Obvious Dangers That Can Hurt Your Child.

The world is a worrying and dangerous place nowadays, so it can be hard for a parent not to worry. However, many parents worry about things that are not likely to happen, for example, parents often worry about school shootings and kidnappings. While these things do happen, they don’t happen often enough to make the top list of dangers most likely to pose a risk to your child. There are however, numerous other things that you should be concerned about as a parent.

With the times changing, there are a lot more things we should be concerned about, we need to talk to our children more openly about the big wide world around them, including the dangers of the internet - something our grandparents didn't have to worry about with our parents, because of course, the internet didn't exist back then. Read on further for some dangers we should be looking out for.

Drug Use
Children are curious and like to experiment, that is why it is common for them to experiment with drugs. While completely reliable numbers are hard to come by, it’s estimated that 50% of teens have used an illicit drug by the time that they leave secondary school, meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of teens have consumed alcohol by the time that they hit compulsory educational leaving age.

Teens use drugs and alcohol because they like the way that they feel, they also want to fit in with their peers, however, many teens do not know about the dangers of drug use or never think the worse could happen to them. Teens who use alcohol or drugs are more likely to engage in risky behaviour because drugs and alcohol lower inhibition, as well as reaction decision making. Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls decision-making, is not fully developed until the age of 25. 

One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is to talk to your children about drug and alcohol use, make them aware of the dangers, show them articles and even pictures if you need too, don't be afraid to make your children afraid of these substances. You should also know, or get to know your children's friends, chances are if your children's friends are drinking alcohol and taking drugs, then your children are more than likely doing so too. Additionally, you should establish rules and consequences, and let your children know who's the boss (or bosses) in the household.

If you suspect your child has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, it’s imperative to take immediate action right away. Many drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities, like this Cincinnati, Ohio drug rehabilitation centre, offer programs designed specifically for young adults. Don't be foolish to think you know everything your children get up to behind your backs, after all, my parents didn't suspect me to be having underage sex, it was only when I told them I was pregnant with Spud that they put the maths together. 

Childhood Obesity
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 34% of 16-24 year olds are overweight or obese. Obesity is a major concern because it can cause a number of health problems, and cases are on an all time rise. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and joint problems are some of the health risks that are linked to obesity, something no parent wants their child to have. 

It is also important to note that obesity has long-term consequences, children who are obese often become obese adults. Furthermore, childhood obesity can cause psychological problems, obese children are often bullied, and this can lead to depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.

There are several things that can be done to help children stay within a healthy weight range. You should make sure that your child eats plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinks plenty of water and exercises on a regular basis. A good 60 minutes of physical activity a day is good for a child, but remember this can be split, so two 30 minute sessions, or three 20 minute sessions. 

You should also limit their intake of sugar and processed food, don't reward good behaviour with food, especially sweet treats, I've seen so many posts recently of parents tagging themselves into desert parlours with the caption ''treated my babies to deserts because they did so well at school'', sweet treats are fine but shouldn't be used often, and certainly not as a reward. 

Reckless Driving
Most teens are eager to get their license, however, they often underestimate the responsibility that comes along with driving. This is why 23% of young drivers will be involved in a car accident within their first two years of driving. These accidents are often caused by reckless driving and can be avoided with due care and attention. You should make sure that you educate your children about driving safely, because if they drive a certain way to show off, they'll be showing themselves off more when they end up with their photo in the local paper for court charges. 

It can be scary to think about school shootings and kidnappings. However, drug use, childhood obesity, internet dangers, grooming, unsafe sex, and dangerous driving happen more often, so they should be bigger concerns. The good news is that you can protect your children by educating them and being a diligent parent.

Be open with your children, don't be afraid to scare them about the dangers in the world!

Until next time,
Jada x

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