Category Archives: Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Your Guide to Fighting Childhood Obesity (Works for Adults, Too!)

Would you start your child on a fad diet? Of course not. Combating obesity means consistently applying principles that bear fruit (and include fruits over time). So you have an overweight child and want to do better to protect his or her health. Today on Straight, No Chaser, we  discuss tips to promote better habits and health. You may want to keep this list. Of course it starts with you. Be careful! You may discover these tips work for you as well.

Things for the parents to do

parents-kids-obesity

  • Understand that this process involves many individuals (e.g., you, your physicians, dieticians, psychologists – even your personal healthcare consultants). None of you should be expected to do this alone. Ask for help.
  • Appreciate that you are the message. Your words are not enough. You are your children’s role model. They will aspire to look and be like you. Protect your own health.
  • Don’t isolate your child. Get the entire family involved in developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
  • Don’t mentally punish your child. If they are led to believe they did something wrong or disappointed you, they could adopt dangerous behavior to compensate or punish themselves. Be supportive and positive.

Healthier eating habits

kids-healthy-eating

General conditions

  • Make healthy choices easy and unhealthy ones more difficult. Put nutritious foods where they are easy to see, and keep high-calorie foods out of sight. It takes multiple servings for anyone’s tastes to get used to new foods. Stick with it!
  • Figure out how to avoid fast food. When you do go, choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing.
  • Plan special healthy meals and eat together as a family. Make it an adventure, and make it fun and rewarding.
  • Don’t use unhealthy foods as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.
  • Don’t make your child clean his or her plate. This promotes overeating.
  • Learn to limit eating to specific meal and snack times. At other times, the kitchen is “closed.”
  • Avoid large portions. Start with small servings, and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry.

Limit the bad

  • Avoid any fats that are solid at room temperature (e.g., butter and lard)
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories, sugar and salt (e.g., sugary drinks, candy, chips, cookies and French fries)
  • Avoid refined grains (white flour, rice and pasta)

Add the good

  • Introduce fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains (e.g., brown rice). Don’t worry. They’ll eat them if that’s the option you’re providing.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products or substitutes (e.g., soy beverages)
  • Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of fruit juice
  • Serve lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products and eggs

Control the snacking

  • Go with air-popped popcorn without butter
  • Gradually train your kids to like fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruit served plain or with low-fat yogurt
  • Gradually train your kids to like fresh vegetables like baby carrots, cucumber, zucchini or tomatoes
  • Snack on low-sugar, whole-grain cereal with low-fat or fat-free milk or a milk substitute fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Stay physically active

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Kids need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Several short 5-10 minute periods of activity throughout the day are as effective as one 60-minute session. If you are starting from scratch, start from where you are and build up to the 60 minutes target. It only works if you stay diligent.

General considerations:

  • Be the message! Show your child that physical activity is fun, and demonstrate how you enjoy it. Have family activities that include being physically active, such as a walk.
  • Encourage participation in organized sports or classes, such as basketball, dance or soccer.
  • If sports don’t work, other fun activities include dancing to music, playing tag, jumping rope or riding a bike.
  • Assign active chores such as making the beds, sweeping/raking or vacuuming.

Activities that kids choose to do on their own are often best. Try these – and play with your kids. You need to be active, too!

  • Catching and throwing
  • Climbing on a jungle gym or climbing wall
  • Dancing
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing hopscotch
  • Riding a bike
  • Shooting baskets

Cut back on inactive time spent watching TV or on the computer or hand-held device.

  • Limit screen time to no more than two hours per day.
  • Substitute these relatively inactive activities with stimulating ones such as acting out books or stories or doing a family art project.
  • When watching TV, get up and move during TV commercials. By all means, discourage “couch-potato” activity of snacking when sitting in front of the TV.

I know this is a lot, but your kids are worth it, as are you. These actions are habits, not just actions. Work over time to incorporate as many as possible into your family’s routine, and I promise you’ll see the difference.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Health Prevention, Medical Treatment, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Childhood Obesity

Childhood-Obesity_Banner-Large-540x1853

Here’s the thing. Adults have control over and choices about how to live their lives. In the overwhelming majority of cases, children do not. Yet, in the overwhelming majority of cases, adults have control over their children’s health.

childhood-obesity-holistic-retreat

Amazingly, approximately one of every three children between the ages of five to 11 is either overweight or obese. It’s not too late. If you’re looking across the breakfast table at a child that’s overweight or obese, please take the time to learn about childhood obesity, the consequences of allowing it to continue and the proactive steps you can take to ward off those consequences. Read on.

If by chance you’re thinking that you have no idea if your child is obese or just looks that way because everyone else in the family looks that way (is “genetically predisposed”), perhaps the first step is to get a better understanding of normal vs. abnormal.

ChildObesity

No matter your perceptions of how “good” or “healthy” it may look, normal is less a function of appearance than a reflection of your heart and other organs’ abilities to perform their tasks. Using the heart as an example (and admittedly being overly simplistic), it is a muscular pump serving the purpose of moving blood around the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells of your various organs. The more weight it has to pump against, the harder the task becomes, and the heart will eventually increase the pressure to compensate (i.e., develop high blood pressure). The sooner this process starts, the more at-risk you are for the consequences of the development of high blood pressure and other conditions (including cancer) down the road. Beside high blood pressure, other health issues associated with childhood obesity include the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Joint problems
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol

It is important to acknowledge that “big” is not always unhealthy. The amount of body fat changes with age and based on where children are in their growth curve. A physician will take these things into consideration when you have your child evaluated for clinical obesity. On the other hand, please understand the social pressures children may face at school from being overweight. If they perceive a problem to exist, one does.

In the next Straight, No Chaser, we will discuss in detail what you can do to help children who are obese. To no one’s surprise, a heavy dose of healthy eating and physical activity will be on the prescription. As a prelude to that conversation, I will suggest that you should not be placing a child on a diet without a physician’s order. Healthy eating habits will be the way to go.

childhood-obesity-epidemic-jumpoff

Overall, just remember that either the positive or negative habits children learn are likely to last a lifetime. As a parent, you will be best positioned to guide children along the appropriate path.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Cardiology/Heart, Diet and Nutrition, General Health and Wellness, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Kids Summer Fun Gone Wrong – Trampoline & Hover Board Trauma

With the recent  holiday weekend behind us, let me share a story…. It starts with me back in the emergency room with a little girl who looks like her forearm is going to fall off the rest of her upper extremity.

People love trampolines and more recently, hover boards. Yet somehow the only time I seem to hear the word trampoline is when someone’s been hurt. I’m not the only one who’d vaporize them on site. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that trampolines never be used at home or in outdoor playgrounds, because associated injuries include head and neck contusions, fractures, strains and sprains, among other injuries.

posterior1

So my patient had a (posteriorly) dislocated elbow, meaning she fell off the trampoline, landing on the back of the extended upper arm, pushing the upper arm bone (the humerus) in front of the elbow and forearm. This is how that looks (yes, the ball is supposed to fit into the socket). You are similarly at risk from falls from our newfangled hover boards.

hoverboard-legs

So for the joy of bouncing on a trampoline, the child had to be put asleep so the elbow could be replaced into the appropriate position. This procedure is fraught with potential for complications, including a broken bone on the way back, as well as damage to the local nerves and arteries (brachial artery, median and ulnar nerves), which can become entrapped during the effort to relocate the bone into the elbow joint. Some limitation in fully bending the arm up and down (flexion and extension) is common after a dislocation, especially without prompt orthopedic and physical therapy follow-up. This really is a high price to pay for the privilege of bouncing up and down.

So if you’re going to allow your kids to play on a trampoline, here are three tips shown to reduce injuries:

  • Find one of those nets that encloses the trampoline to prevent a child from being thrown from the trampoline.
  • Make sure the frame and hooks are completely covered with padding to prevent a child from getting impaled or scratched.
  • Keep the trampoline away from anything else, including trees and rocks. This works even better if the trampoline is enclosed as previously mentioned.

trampolinesThink back to the little girl I had to care for and consider whether this predictable event (complete with the mental stress of being in a loud emergency room in pain, getting an IV needle and being put to sleep) was worth the effort.  As per routine, an ounce of prevention…

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Pediatrics/Kids Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: The Effects of PTSD on Children

PTSD-And-Children

This is part of a series on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • For a review of PTSD signs, symptoms and those at risk, click here.
  • For a review of PTSD diagnosis and treatment, click here.

ptsd kids

Children are exposed to the same stimuli that creates post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including physical abuse, sexual assault and the effects of war, but they may have different responses and  symptoms than adults. Symptoms unique to children typically involve developmental regression and may include the following:

  • Clinginess
  • Bedwetting
  • Cessation of speech
  • Acting out the scary event

Teens may become disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive, and they may express guilt or engage in revenge.

Think about these things when your children have been victims of bullying, abandonment or assault. You have to think about PTSD in order to recognize help may be needed. It is very important to get counseling for children that have experienced a traumatic event. The effects may be subtle but could be devastating and long-lasting.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Mental Health, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy and Safe Swimming

Image result for healthy and safe swimming week 2018

Did you know this is National Healthy Safe and Swimming Week? Whether you’re an avid swimmer or only deal with it on a vacation, it’s important to be reminded how to be safe while you’re in the water. Based on recommendations of the American Red Cross, consider these important swimming safety tips, which include direct and indirect hazards posed by swimming and related activities.

 swimming-pool-safety-150x150

Preparing to swim

  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate swim courses.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing aids, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Enroll in home pool safety, water safety, first-aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around and in water.
  • If you have a home pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

swimming_b250px

While in the water

  • Choose to swim in levels of water consistent with your skill; being adventurous can be deadly.
  • Until and unless you’re an expert swimmer, always swim with someone else.
  • Choose to swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water. Develop the habit of having children ask permission to go near water.
  • When you’re the one supervising your children, always be attentive; avoid distractions.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.
  • Protect your skin while swimming. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

swimming healthy1

Water safety is just something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Every second matters in preventing death and/or long-term disability. Many children who drown will only be out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time. At the other end of risk, too often those believing themselves to be most skilled are most likely to place themselves in harm’s way with overly risky activities, leading to increased incidences of death (this is especially true for scuba divers). Take the time to protect yourselves and your loved ones.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Health Prevention, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Learning the Risks and Signs of Abusive Head Trauma

shaken baby syndrome never_shake_bear

This part of the conversation is not about spanking. It’s not even about abuse. It’s about learning who is most likely to cause harm to your child, intended or not, and what places your child most at risk. This Straight, No Chaser takes an additional look at Abusive Head Trauma (AHT)/Shaken Baby Syndrome and provides you with information to better understand the risks and the signs that your child may be suffering.

Abusive head trauma is 100% preventable but not predictable. You’d do well to heighten your sensitivity about what places a child at risk for this most devastating consequence of child abuse, and you’d do very well to understand the connection of risk for AHT to stress. Finding ways to alleviate the parent or caregiver’s stress at the critical moments when a baby is crying will significantly reduce the risk to a child. You must develop the discipline not to strike a child when you’re angry – in any part of the body. Parents and other caregivers should be aware of their own behaviors that may feed into punitive activities that can injure a child. It’s important to tell any and everyone caring for a baby or young child to never shake him or her.

SBS Statistics

Beyond the key component of a caretaker’s inability to manage their own stress, the following list includes conditions and situations that have been shown to increase the risk of a child being exposed to AHT. That said, anyone has the potential to harm a baby if he or she isn’t able to handle stressful situations well, has poor impulse control, or has a tendency toward aggressive behavior.

shaken baby physicalabuse

  • Children with special needs
  • Children with multiple siblings
  • Children with conditions that promote crying, like colic or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, reflux)
  • Boys are more likely to be victims of AHT than girls.
  • Children whose families live at or below the poverty level are at an increased risk for AHT and other components of child abuse.
  • The perpetrators in about 70% of cases are males, typically either the baby’s father or the mother’s boyfriend. These males are often someone in their early twenties.
  • Substance abuse often plays a role in AHT.

Shaken baby head trauma

Unfortunately, children don’t always exhibit definitive symptoms. Sometimes this is the case because they aren’t brought in for evaluation immediately after, or perhaps the history given to the physician didn’t include the components of shaking or other activities. Children may look normal after an abusive episode and may not have problems noticed until they enter the school system. At this time, it is significantly more difficult to trace the symptoms back to a single causative episode of abuse. It is much more likely that the child’s intelligence level will be interpreted as being “what it is.” Please don’t ever deem that a child’s head injury is insignificant or fail to obtain a medical clearance evaluation after any injury. Alternatively, different types of interactions with a child such as bouncing a baby on a knee or tossing the baby up in the air will not cause these injuries.

shaken baby child abuse

Here are the symptoms of AHT. Of course, ongoing and/or severe episodes can increase the severity of symptoms. Mild symptoms include the following:

  • altered consciousness
  • an inability to lift the head
  • an inability to focus the eyes or track movement
  • blue color (due to lack of oxygen)
  • decreased appetite
  • difficulty breathing
  • irritability
  • lessened or lack of smiling and verbalizing/vocalizing
  • lethargy
  • poor sucking or swallowing
  • rigidity
  • seizures
  • unequal pupil size
  • vomiting

More severe immediate injuries may include the following:

  • brain swelling
  • bruises around the head, neck, or chest
  • hemorrhages in the retinas of the eyes
  • rib and long bone (bones in the arms and legs) fractures
  • skull fractures
  • subdural hematomas (blood collections pressing on the surface of the brain)

SHAKEN BABY 1

Recall that 1 in 4 cases of AHT results in death. Even when death doesn’t occur, other long-term effects may include the following:

  • cerebral palsy
  • developmental delays
  • hearing loss
  • impaired intellect
  • partial or total blindness
  • problems with memory and attention
  • seizures
  • severe mental retardation
  • speech and learning difficulties

What makes AHT so devastating is that it often involves a total brain injury in a developing brain, meaning there will be incredibly widespread manifestations. For example, a child whose vision is severely impaired won’t be able to learn through observation, which decreases the child’s overall ability to learn. The development of language, vision, balance, and motor coordination, are particularly likely to be affected in any child who has AHT.

The irony of AHT is you’ve seen many cases of it in your casual activities. You simply haven’t associated those cases with a child having been abused. Consider thinking proactively, learn to adjust your stress and the way you interact with children in times of discipline to minimize the risks. Their developing brains will thank you.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Mental Health, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Public Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Abusive Head Trauma aka Shaken Baby Syndrome

shaking-baby

The discussion regarding the line between parental discipline and child abuse has proven to be a passionate one. Without wading into opinions, let me elaborate and give a concrete example of why the conversation is not limited to your right to discipline. Straight, No Chaser has addressed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at length. We have no difficulty appreciating the damage that can occur to veterans, victims of sexual assault and others. Why is it not similarly easy to appreciate that there are emotional and physical consequences to children? After all, PTSD is most often described in adults having fully formed brains. You would be correct to assume that results would be even more pronounced in children, whose brains are still developing.

SBSyndrome

The problem is you actually don’t know the harm you’re inflicting. As the saying goes, you can have your opinions about what you’re doing, but you can’t have your facts; that’s especially true about medical facts. As an example, there’s a relatively common condition called Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (aka Shaken Impact Syndrome or Inflicted Traumatic Brain Injury) that is typically the result of parents getting frustrated at crying babies or angry and disciplining young children. Abusive head trauma (AHT) occurs in kids up to 5 years old, but it occurs most often among babies during the age at which they cry the most, which is 6-8 weeks old. The average age is between 3-8 months.

Here are some of the types of activities that can cause abusive head trauma:

SBS

  • Dropping a child
  • Jerking a child
  • Shaking a child
  • Slapping or otherwise delivering blows to the head
  • Striking the head against a surface
  • Tossing a child
  • Violently grabbing a child

The relevance of AHT to current events is you would be likely to underestimate the force needed to create defined and permanent injury to a child’s developing brain. Now before you think “When I spank my child, I never hit them in the head,” compare that to the following fact:

Head trauma is the single leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the U.S.

The activities mentioned above cause life-threatening injury to the child’s brain, usually to the blood vessels, nerves and even the brain tissue itself, even without direct blows to the head. Furthermore…

About 1 out of every 4 cases of AHT results in the child’s death.

Shaken baby 5SBS SDH

Respectfully, the anatomy of the child’s head is similar to a lawn dart. The disproportionate size of the head relative to the rest of the body lends to its involvement even when it’s not the primary target of spanking. Whenever a child gets injured, there is some risk that the head can be involved, including bleeding within the brain, as displayed in the above two pictures. AHT often causes irreversible damage.

Even when death doesn’t occur, other long-term effects may take hold, including the following:

  • cerebral palsy
  • developmental delays
  • hearing loss
  • impaired intellect
  • partial or total blindness
  • problems with memory and attention
  • seizures
  • severe mental retardation
  • speech and learning difficulties

A separate Straight, No Chaser will discuss AHT in greater detail, including prevention and treatment considerations. In the meantime, realize that unseen consequences do in fact occur to children in the course of spanking. Whatever your views on parenting or child discipline, please never allow a child to be struck by anyone in anger. Despite your intentions, the consequences are real.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Public Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: The Emotional Signs of Child Abuse

child-abuse report

In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we provided a pictorial demonstration of the physical signs of child abuse. Unfortunately for many, the emotional signs are even more dangerous. It’s important for you to be able to recognize the subtle emotional cues that could represent a high-risk situation for a child. Too often people take a laissez-faire approach to “abnormally acting” children. Your raising and reporting concerns could save lives.

One very important consideration is that reporting abnormal situations isn’t the same as making accusations. It’s better to think of it as establishing a path for whatever type of help is needed. To that end, today’s post will share information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help you recognize when a child may be in danger. Pay attention because it could be your child that is affected, and it’s not always true that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

child abuse emotional

The Child

• Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance

• Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention

• Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes

• Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen

• Lacks adult supervision

• Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn

• Comes to school or other activities early, stays late and does not want to go home

• Is reluctant to be around a particular person

• Discloses maltreatment

child abuse emotional no excuse

The Parent

• Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home

• Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves

• Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless or burdensome

• Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve

• Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of the parent’s emotional needs

• Shows little concern for the child

child abuse emotional tears

The Parent and Child

• Rarely touch or look at each other

• Consider their relationship entirely negative

• State that they do not like each other

The above list may not be all the signs of abuse or neglect. It is important to pay attention to other behaviors that may seem unusual or concerning. In addition to these signs and symptoms, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides information on the risk factors and perpetrators of child abuse and neglect fatalities:  https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/

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Signs of Physical Abuse

Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the child …

• Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones or black eyes

• Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school

• Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home

• Shrinks at the approach of adults

• Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver

• Abuses animals or pets

Emotional-Child-Abuse

Consider the possibility of physical abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver …

• Offers conflicting, unconvincing or no explanation for the child’s injury, or provides an explanation that is not consistent with the injury

• Describes the child as “evil” or in some other very negative way

• Uses harsh physical discipline with the child

• Has a history of abuse as a child

• Has a history of abusing animals or pets

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: The Physical Signs of Child Abuse

abuse-emotional-child-96_2

Given how often this topic is in the news, we must continue to drill certain points home. This Straight, No Chaser provides visual examples of the consequences of child abuse. A child’s body doesn’t care if the wounds were meant to injure or just to punish. The long term effects aren’t limited by family traditions of similar behavior. We need an army to protect children against child abuse. A separate post will discuss the mental signs and consequences of abuse, but to start with, I’d like to help you recognize physical signs I tend to look for to potentially identify victims of abuse.

Symptoms include:

  • Black eyes

physical_2[1]

  • Broken bones that are unusual and unexplained
  • Bruise marks or lashes shaped like hands, fingers, or objects (such as a belt)

child abuse whip marks arm

  • Bruises in areas where normal childhood activities would not usually result in bruising

BRUISES-MISSED-ABUSE

  • Bite marks

child abuse bite marks

  • Bulging soft spot (fontanelle) or separations in an infant’s skull

childabusefontanelle

  • Burn marks, usually seen on the hands, arms, or buttocks

childabusebuttock

  • Choke marks around the neck
  • Cigarette burns on exposed areas or on the genitals

child abuse burns

  • Circular marks around the wrists or ankles (signs of twisting or tying up)
  • Unexplained unconsciousness in an infant

If you ever see such things in children, be suspicious, be involved and get help. There are always ‘explanations’ for why things happen to children, but they too frequently seem to defy logic. Of course you can call 911 or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD). You could save a life.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Children

childsexabuse

Child. Sexual. Abuse. Those words shouldn’t go together, even on a computer screen. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Abuse Report, 683,000 children in the U.S. were abused at least once in 2015. There are subtleties in the detection of various forms of abuse. This post offers tips to help you develop a sense that something may be amiss.

This is the third entry in a Straight, No Chaser series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape).

  • Check this Straight, No Chaser, which addresses the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Check this Straight, No Chaser, which addressed how to lower your risk for sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault.

child_abuse_prevention

The difficulty of diagnosing and prosecuting sexual abuse is more difficult in children than in adults. In many instances the child is unable to articulate or effectively demonstrate what has occurred, and in other instances the child is so mentally and emotionally traumatized that she or he is unable to express what has occurred. In still other instances, the child’s feelings toward a family member (in those cases in which sexual assault is perpetrated by a family member) belie a sense of betrayal, preventing the reporting of episodes.

As such, those charged with detecting and diagnosing sexual abuse in children are left to observe for subtle, often unconscious cues that a child may be a victim and may still be in danger. Look for some of these behaviors in those who might be involved and, please, report any suspicions. The life you save may be your own child’s.

child-abuse-awareness-bottons-08

In a child, emotional or behavioral actions may include the following:

  • Attaches unusually quickly to strangers or adults
  • Attempts suicide
  • Becomes pregnant, particularly if under age 14
  • Displays behavioral extremes, including passivity/aggression or compliant/demanding behavior
  • Displays knowledge of sexual acts inconsistent with one’s age
  • Has a sexually transmitted infection, particularly if younger than 14 years old
  • Has a sudden appetite change
  • Has delayed physical or emotional development
  • Has difficulty walking or sitting
  • Has episodes of nightmares or bedwetting

In adults or other caregiver, actions may include the following: 

  • Constant blaming, belittling and berating the child
  • Controlling and jealous behavior
  • Displaying secretive and isolated behavior
  • Is abnormally protective of the child
  • Limiting the child’s interaction with other children

Please commit the crisis hotline to memory: 800-4-A-CHILD.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Pediatrics/Kids Health, Public Health, Trauma