Here are some websites for those questions or concerns that might arise……
Healthwise Knowledge – Extensive database of topics particular to teenagers.
Snohomish County Health Dept. – Your connection to the Snohomish County Public Health Agency:
Suicide Prevention and Awareness: Most people are trained in CPR, but will have less likelihood of using it than the need for suicide intervention. Don’t be afraid to ask someone about their intentions of harming themselves, and know where to get them to the right resources. Snohomish County Mental Health Resources It takes a community being intentionally relational and observant of changes in behavior to know the cries for help. There are local trainings/workshops to be a trained in suicide prevention and awareness. Please contact Compass Health for those workshops.
Internet Safety: By now most of us know how dangerous the internet can be for children. The basic rules are to know all the passwords to your child’s “my space” or “facebook” account. Don’t have internet in a bedroom, keep it in a common room so you can see what is going on at any time. Here is a link for more ideas on keeping kids safe online: http://www.netsmartz.org/netparents.htm
The Choking Game: This is very dangerous and can lead to injuries even death. Some kids use a belt, rope, or their bare hands. They cut off the flow of blood to the brain and receive a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. When they release the pressure the blood that was blocked up goes to the brain all at once. This gives them a warm fuzzy feeling, which is the brain dying thousands of cells at a time. Kids use this for the high that can be addictive. They also like it because there are not any drugs or alcohol they can get caught with. Check with your pediatrician if you suspect your child is doing this behavior.
Texting: Not so much a safety issue, but there are things parents should know. There is an increase of kids sending inappropriate photos of them self or someone else to other kids via the cell phone. Parents and students should know that there are laws about sending or forwarding inappropriate photos or texts. The laws are changing with the increased technology but there could be real consequences. Here is a link to more info: http://www.netsmartz.org/Sexting/ Sometimes students are found to be very tired during the day, beacuse they are up late texting their friends. Advice is to take away cell phones at bed time and when doing homework.
Bullying: This has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but the effects on children can last a lifetime. If you suspect your child is either a victim or acting as bully, please contact your school counselors. The school bullying we knew as kids now includes cyber bullying. Kids harass other kids through email, texts, my space, etc. This can be very hurtful, it can be seen by so many people. Here are links to more information:
Cutting: This problem is more common in girls, but boys do it to. Kids make small cuts on their arms or legs. For the child it is a way of controlling their emotional pain. Links to more info: http://kidshealth.org /teen/your_mind/mental_health/cutting.html
Inhaling: Huffing, sniffing, bagging, or dusting are other terms used for this type of abuse. Kids inhale products found at home for the purpose of getting high. Hairspray, computer cleaners, lighter fluid, toxic magic markers are just some of the products kids use to get this short, but deadly high. Go to this website for information on products used, warning signs and the dangers of this. http://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/dangers-inhaled-aerosols-huffing/
Gangs: A parent’s role in preventing their child from joining a gang is crucial. Keeping your child involved in after school activities, knowing where they are and who they are with at all times, and talking to your kids can keep your child out of gangs. Tell your child to say no to anyone who asks them to join a gang. Gang members target kids in middle school. These young kids have no idea of what they are getting into, talk to your kids. Here is a great website for more information. https://www.everettwa.gov/1106/Gang-Awareness—Parents-Guide
Prescription Drug Abuse: It is simple, kids want the high and have easy access to the medicines in your home. Tips like locking up all prescriptions or counting pills will help. Remember that when visiting friends and family that they have prescriptions in their homes as well. Please check out this or other websites to learn the signs of drug abuse. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs
If you come across more – let me know and I’ll add them on