Archives

Unplugging to Enjoy Outdoor Activities During the Summer

SportsSummer is almost here and many look forward to more screen time.

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.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Recovery Month March 2012: Join the Voices

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.

 

Please visit http://www.recoverymonth.gov for more information.  Watch video.
Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Teenage Smoking: New Youth Cigarette Smoking Data Released

New data, from the Florida Department of Health, shows a decline in the prevalence of cigarette smoking among Florida’s middle school and high school students.The National Institutes of Health sent out a release about the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF), which shows that cigarette and alcohol use by eighth, 10th and 12th-graders are at their lowest point since the MTF survey began polling teens in 1975. Release: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/dec2011/nida-14.htm
Below is a complete press release on the Florida youth data. The national 2011 results released last week showed that 18.7 percent of 12th-graders reported current (past-month) cigarette use. In Florida, that prevalence rate is below the national average at just 15.4 percent.
Three weeks ago, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids ranked Florida Ranks 13th in “Protecting Kids from Tobacco.” (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-report-florida-ranks-13th-in-protecting-kids-from-tobacco-134745003.html)
New Tobacco Free Florida Website

I also encourage you to visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com. Earlier this month, Tobacco Free Florida re-launched its website in time for the New Year, when many Floridians resolve to quit tobacco. The new, user-friendly website provides substantiated information to encourage tobacco users to quit and offers the tips and tools needed to quit successfully. In early 2012, Tobacco Free Florida will expand the website to include sections on helping others quit, a variety of tobacco-related issues in the state, information for teens, and much more.

Survey Data Shows Decrease in Smoking Among Florida Youth
Data Reveals Decrease in Cigarette Smoking Though Smokeless Tobacco Use Continues to Grow
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) released results from the 2011 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) showing a decrease in cigarette smoking rates among Florida middle school and high school students.
In 2011, 11.9 percent of high school students and 3.5 percent of middle school students reported current cigarette use, meaning they had smoked a cigarette at least once during the past 30 days. Compared to last year, this data shows a decrease of 9.2 percent among high school students and a decrease of 28.6 percent among middle school students. More significantly, since the Tobacco Free Florida campaign launched in 2007, 17.9 percent fewer high school students and 42.6 percent fewer middle school students in Florida were current cigarettes smokers.
“The continued decrease in the smoking prevalence rate among our state’s youth is a clear indication of the effectiveness of our tobacco prevention programs,” said Dr. Frank Farmer, Florida’s State Surgeon General. “However, tobacco prevention remains a critical issue in Florida where tobacco use remains the number one cause of disease and preventable death.”
Despite the promising decline of cigarette smoking among youth, the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use has trended upward among Florida youth over the past several years. This is consistent with an increase in smokeless tobacco use nationwide.
Smokeless tobacco products are perceived to be less harmful. But in reality, these products contain more nicotine than cigarettes[i] and 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).[ii] In addition, people who experiment with smokeless tobacco often develop a pattern of regular daily use.[iii]
“The most prominent influence on youth’s decision to partake in tobacco products is whether the parent engages in tobacco use,” said Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretary for the Florida Department of Health. “Parents with nicotine habits are advised to quit as soon as possible and discuss their quit struggle with their children, as many children tend to underestimate the addictiveness of nicotine. Parents should also be aware and talk to their children about the dangers and misconceptions of smokeless tobacco and flavored tobacco products, which are growing in popularity in younger populations.”
Preventing youth tobacco initiation is a critical step in combating the pervasive problem of tobacco in our state. In fact, nine out of 10 adult smokers begin while in their teens, or earlier, and two-thirds become regular, daily smokers before they reach the age of 19.[iv] In Florida, more than 22,800 kids (under 18) become new smokers each year.[v]
Tobacco prevention is as imperative as ever. Today, the design and contents of tobacco products make them more attractive and addictive than ever before.[vi] In addition, adolescents’ bodies are more sensitive to nicotine, and adolescents are more easily addicted than adults.[vii]
Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free, convenient and confidential resources to help young tobacco users quit.
·         Online: Floridians age 13 or older can enroll in the Web Coach® at www.quitnow.net/florida, which will help them create personalized web-based quit plans.
·         Phone: Floridians age 11 or older can call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach who will help them assess their addiction and help them create personalized quit plans.
ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA
Tobacco Free Florida (TFF) is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. The program is managed by the Florida Department of Health, specifically the Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program.
Smokers and smokeless tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a quit coach. To learn about TFF and the state’s free quit smoking resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or Twitter at twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

High School to College: Transitional Blues

High School to College, can be an emotional time.

Mental illness continues to mystify the mainstream, and students already stressed and anxious about classes, relationships, jobs and activities end up suffering from the stigmas just as much as the conditions themselves. But they don’t have to nurture their pain in quiet. More and more individuals (students or not), their loved ones and organizations are speaking up in favor of psychological help in all its forms.

The following list represents some of the most common conditions occurring on campuses globally, though by no means should it be considered a comprehensive glimpse at an issue far more broad and complex.

  1. Clinical Depression: At least 44% of college students have reported suffering from some degree of clinical depression — and the number only escalates from there as years tick past. Thanks to prevailing social stigmas regarding psychiatric help, only 23% of victims reported that they’d be comfortable discussing their treatment. Considering the amount of stress, anxiety, sleeplessness and inter- and intrapersonal issues characterizing the college experience, it makes sense that an overwhelming number of students succumb to the symptoms. And, unfortunately, many of the common comorbid conditions and illnesses as well.
  2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Statistics from 2000 reveal that roughly 10% of college students received a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, but in all likelihood the numbers have jumped over the past 11 years. Females suffer from such conditions at a rate of five times more than their male peers, though the numbers may be skewed due to unfair social perspectives regarding men and mental illness. Panic attacks inextricably tie into GAD and related disorders, and the afflicted — regardless of whether or not they attend college — can experience them either spontaneously or based on an external or internal cue. Do keep in mind that not all anxiety disorders manifest themselves via panic attacks, nor are all panic attacks inherently indicative of an anxiety disorder.
  3. Anorexia Nervosa: At least 91% of female college students have attempted to control their weight via extreme dieting, though not all of these cases can be considered anorexia, of course. Bulimia is actually more prevalent on campus, although anorexia kills more of its victims. Between 10% and 25% of total individuals with this tragic eating disorder die either from the disease itself or complications stemming directly from it. As with other diagnoses of its type, anorexia rarely ravages alone. Not only can it exist side-by-side with bulimia, EDNOS or binge eating disorder, it oftentimes settles in as a result of depression, compulsions or severe anxiety. Lifetime statistics show that between 0.5% and 3.6% of American women suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. With eating disorders on the whole, one of the major associated tragedies is the recovery rate. Only around 60% of victims make a full recovery, with 20% making some headway and the remaining 20% not really coming around.
  4. Bulimia Nervosa: Bulimia nervosa can either exist as comorbid with anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder or EDNOS or on its own, though almost always stems from a mood, anxiety or compulsive disorder rather than flying entirely solo. Roughly 19% of female college students suffer beneath the destructive diagnosis, although males do suffer from it as well. This compares with the 1.1% to 4.2% of women who struggle with bulimia at any point in their lifetime — not just the college years.
  5. Substance Abuse: College males admit to past-year drug abuse at a rate of 40%, compared to the 43% of their un-enrolled peers. Females represent an inverse, with 35% of students abusing drugs versus 33% for those outside of college. A total of 37.5% of full-time students and 38.5% of part-timers admitted to illicit substance abuse. Roughly half of the college demographic engages in destructive alcohol consumption, with 1,700 dying, 599,000 injured, 696,000 assaulted and 97,000 raped or sexually assaulted yearly as a direct result. The reasons for these behaviors are as many and varied as there are individuals to display them, although a desire to fit in, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are frequently to blame.
  6. Suicidal Thoughts and Actions: 7.5 out of every 100,000 college students commit suicide, with males between the ages of 20 and 24 standing as the most at-risk demographic. Graduate students are also more vulnerable, claiming 32% of these tragedies. At least 10.1% of total college kids admitted to seriously contemplating suicide, and 1.4% said they attempted it within the past year. The myriad emotional, mental and physical challenges of college life leave so many overwhelmed by hopelessness, stress and despair. Suicide often — but, of course, not always — represents the extreme end of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, compulsive disorders and other mental health conditions. And the general stigma surrounding the seeking of professional help, particularly amongst men, certainly doesn’t quell the problem any.
  7. Self-Injury: A 2006 study by Princeton and Cornell researchers revealed that 14% of male and 20% of female students repeatedly engaged in some sort of compulsive self-injury. Cutting, burning, and other dangerous releases provide a similar temporary comfort as drug and alcohol abuse. And, understandably, tend to correlate directly with anxiety, mood disorders, eating disorders, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors, although single or repeated instances of physical, mental, and emotional abuse as well as lowered self-esteem can factor in at any time as well. 41% of college-aged self-injurers began hurting themselves between the ages of 17 and 22, although the national average is between 14 and 15. Unfortunately, only around 7% of these individuals seek psychological assistance for their torment.
  8. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: OCD afflicts one out of every 40 adults, one out of every 100 children and 250 out of every 10,000 college students. Considering higher education already severely taxes kids without any preexisting mental health conditions, it might prove hellacious to those suffering from the compulsive disorder. If left untreated, sufferers run the risk of succumbing to depression and anxiety (both of which are oftentimes co-morbid with OCD), substance abuse, self-injury or even suicide.
  9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: It’s difficult to really gauge just how many college students truly suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as its symptoms almost always overlap with depressive and anxiety issues — not to mention the fact that both often grow from it. The condition settles in after any number of triggering incidents, but military service and sexual assault (up to and including rape) tend to garner the most attention. Both also impact college students and college-aged as well. An estimated 11% to 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are expected to return home with PTSD. At least 20% of college females reported being victimized by rape at some point in their life, and on a national level only 18% actually take it to the authorities. Women under the age of 30.8 (specifically, those in the 16 to 19 range) are the most vulnerable demographic to sexual assault and rape, comprising 80% of reported cases.
  10. Phobias: Whether mild and largely harmless or in need of professional intervention, specific phobias are incredibly common both on and off college campuses. Arachnophobia appears to be the most prevalent, afflicting a staggering 34% of the student populace. The only one with any real relevance or influence on college life was public speaking, which terrified 31%. Surprisingly enough, 18% of respondents said they thought they might greatly benefit from pursuing counseling or other form of psychological assistance.

Source:  Accredited Online Colleges

Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.