Parenting Issues

Parenting Issues Articles

Helicopter Parenting: When Too Much Help Is No Help

It's a natural instinct to want to help your child. After all, that's what parents do: We protect and support our children until they are ready to go out on their own. But these days some parents are defining "protect" and "support" a little differently than usual. (The definition of when kids are ready to be on their own has gotten fuzzy, too.) Teachers, coaches, school administrators and others who work with children are seeing more and more parents who are very involved – often overly involved — in their children's lives. I think we have all seen or heard about parents who: (Locked) More »

Head Injury In Children

Trauma to the head can cause different medical and surgical problems, ranging from mild to severe. Each year, childhood head injuries result in tens of thousands of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the United States. Although 90 percent of all childhood head injuries are minor, thousands of children die and many more develop permanent disabilities each year from head trauma. The most common causes of childhood head injuries in the United States are motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, bicycle accidents and trauma related to sports. In infants younger than 1 year old, most serious head injuries are related to child abuse. Children often bump their heads accidentally, resulting in minor bumps, bruises, or cuts in the scalp, but no damage to the brain inside. Sometimes, more serious injuries happen. Injuries to the head can cause a concussion. Concussions are graded on a scale of I to III, depending on the severity of the symptoms. A grade I concussion is the mildest type, with confusion lasting 15 minutes or less after the head injury. With a grade II concussion, the confusion and other symptoms last longer than 15 minutes. A grade III concussion involves any loss of consciousness (passing out) and is the most severe. In most cases of concussion, X-rays or brain scans do not show any damage. Concussions do not usually cause long-term brain damage, but repeated concussions (for example, during high-risk activities such as boxing or football) can be very dangerous, putting the child at risk of serious brain damage. (Locked) More »

For Parents: Knowing Your Adolescent Child

Artificial tanning devices such as sunlamps are gaining popularity — especially among young adults and women — in spite of the fact that their use is linked to skin cancer. The UV radiation emitted from these devices, along with the sunburns they elicit, are risk factors for two of the most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Though the link between carcinomas and artificial tanning devices is generally accepted, there are few data connecting the two. So investigators in New Hampshire studied the risk of BCC and SCC associated with such methods. The results were published in the February 6, 2002, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Subjects were BCC and SCC patients, ages 25–74. They answered questions on their sun sensitivity, sun exposure, and artificial tanning methods, if any. Those who had either used a sunlamp or tanning bed, or gone to a tanning salon also gave their ages at first and last use. Participants who used tanning devices were 2.5 times more likely to develop SCC and 1.5 times more likely to develop BCC than those who did not use the devices. Even after participants' past sunburns and sun exposure were taken into account, the excess risk for SCC and BCC associated with artificial tanning devices was still present. What's more, for every ten years earlier that a person started artificial tanning, the risk of BCC and SCC increased by 20% and 10%, respectively. More »

For Teens: Knowing Yourself

Artificial tanning devices such as sunlamps are gaining popularity — especially among young adults and women — in spite of the fact that their use is linked to skin cancer. The UV radiation emitted from these devices, along with the sunburns they elicit, are risk factors for two of the most common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Though the link between carcinomas and artificial tanning devices is generally accepted, there are few data connecting the two. So investigators in New Hampshire studied the risk of BCC and SCC associated with such methods. The results were published in the February 6, 2002, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Subjects were BCC and SCC patients, ages 25–74. They answered questions on their sun sensitivity, sun exposure, and artificial tanning methods, if any. Those who had either used a sunlamp or tanning bed, or gone to a tanning salon also gave their ages at first and last use. Participants who used tanning devices were 2.5 times more likely to develop SCC and 1.5 times more likely to develop BCC than those who did not use the devices. Even after participants' past sunburns and sun exposure were taken into account, the excess risk for SCC and BCC associated with artificial tanning devices was still present. What's more, for every ten years earlier that a person started artificial tanning, the risk of BCC and SCC increased by 20% and 10%, respectively. More »