Tag: kids

17 super-easy ways to protect your child from Child Sexual Abuse

 

Teach-your-child-sexual-abuse

Child Sexual abuse is one of the worst things that happen globally to children. It is the act of forcing or persuading a child to take part in sexual activities. It can take several forms ranging from sexual touching of any part of the body, rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or anus, making a child to take off her clothes, touch someone else’s genitals or masturbate to forcing or encouraging the child into sexual intercourse. Some kids may sometimes not understand that what is happening to them is abuse and may not know it’s wrong.

Many parents feel quite uncomfortable discussing sexual abuse with their children. However, considering the rising child sexual abuse statistics globally, it becomes inevitable. There isn’t any justifiable reason to shy away from talking to your kids about their bodies. Many of us have fallen victim in the past all because our parents failed to educate us rightly. Our dreams came to an abrupt stop because of the consequences that came from either rape or child abuse.

When you equip your girl child and your boy child with everything they need to know about sexual abuse from their young age, the society will have fewer boys/men that rape and fewer girls that get raped and our children will be smarter and safe.

Causes of Child Sexual Abuse

While the causes of sexually abusive behavior towards children are yet to be fully understood, some reasons are quite obvious and range from uncontrollable sexual urge, mental health problems, drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse on the part of the abuser, all of which may make them not have any understanding of what is appropriate behavior towards a child.

A poor neighbourhood, poverty, neglect and lack of communication between parent and child are some other factors that aid child sexual abuse.

Child abuse is most likely to start from someone close, like a relative, a family friend, neighbour or a person in a position of trust rather than a stranger. These abusers look for weak spots in a family or community to gain access to the child, then begin to develop an inappropriate relationship with the child, making her believe she has a sincere or loving relationship with the abuser. The abuser buys gifts for and spends time with the child.

Signs of Sexual Child  Abuse

Though it is quite hard to identify a sexually abused child, children who are sexually abused show certain symptoms, some of which include withdrawal from family and friends, sudden change in behavior, Nightmares, sleeping problems, becoming unusually secretive, mood swings, unaccountable fear of particular places or people, Outburst of anger, changes in eating habits and many more. This article gives more insights into warning signs of sexual abuse.

Effects of Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can ruin childhood, and the impact can last a lifetime if not properly handled. It can have both short term and long term effects on a child. Most times, it is the physical effect that is being focused on, but it’s often the emotional and psychological effects that cause more harm in the long term. The effects range from depression, sleeping and eating disorders, shame, guilt, dissociation, self-harm, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, promiscuity to suicide. 

How do I protect my child from sexual abuse?

Having learnt the demoralizing effects sexual abuse can have on a child, I guess you never want such an experience for your child right? So, how can you equip yourself and your child against child sexual abuse?

Highlighted below are 17 tips about protecting your child from sexual abuse you need to know.

17-simple-conversations-to-prevent-child-sexual-abuse

You can watch a summary of the 17 ways in the video below or read through to the end.

 1. Teach your child each body parts by their real names

 

This is one thing I encourage mums to do. Your son’s penis is not a “Willy,” or a “pee-pee,” Let him know it is his penis. For your daughter, calling a vagina by its proper name is important because sexual predators often use “sweet” names to lure children. Teach your children that their penis, vagina, bottom, breasts and nipples are called their ‘private parts. If your children know the names of their private parts, they can more accurately, and with no confusion, tell you if it hurts or if someone touched that area inappropriately. It also removes the shameful or embarrassing characterization from those body parts. Pet names create confusion in case something needs to be reported. It is also essential that parents and children feel comfortable with correct body part names early on so that the “teen years” are just a continuation of an ongoing conversation and not a “special talk”.

2. Let your child have Rights over her body

 Tell your kids that “they own their bodies” and that no one has a right to touch them unless it’s okay with them. Also, teach them not to be bribed. For example, “If you let us touch your …., we will let you be in our club.”  

Their bodies must never be exchanged for anything.

3. Teach your child to respect and not touch other people’s private part

Abusers will say things like, “Don’t worry. I won’t touch you. You touch my…” Let your child know that if someone asks her to touch their own private parts, shows their private parts to her or shows her images of private parts, this is wrong also and that she must tell a trusted adult straight away.

4. Teach your child the appropriate situations for private parts to be seen

Just as we teach them appropriate ways to do other things, our kids need to learn the appropriate situations for private parts to be seen and touched by others, which shouldn’t go beyond bath time at home with mom or dad or an examination at the doctor’s office when they are sick (and let them know you must be present).

5. Teach your child about surprises and secrets

Think about it, secrets are never told. Surprises are always revealed.  Most child abusers tell children that the acts are to be kept a secret between the two of them. If secrets are not allowed in your family, it’s unlikely for your child to buy into someone asking her to keep something secret. Make it a part of your family discussions that you don’t keep secrets. (surprises are ok because there is a planned time to reveal it, like when they open their birthday present). Tell your child an adult and a child never have a secret.

6. If your child asks questions, answer them correctly

Don’t ignore or deflect questions they have about their private parts. Our kids are curious about everything, including their body parts. Ignoring their questions or concerns will only increase their curiosity and, at worst, lead to feelings of shame about their body as if it’s something they shouldn’t discuss. Age-appropriately, answer their questions to the best of your ability. If you don’t know how to answer, tell them you need time to think of how to explain it and come back to it within a couple of days. They understand a lot more than we think.

7. Teach your child “Safe touch” vs. “unsafe touch”

“if your swimsuit covers it, it’s a private area” Let your kids know that safe touches are touches that are in areas not covered by your swimsuits like shoulders, head and feet. But more importantly, safe touches are also those that you feel calm and safe with, like a hug from your mum. Bad touches are those in the areas that are covered up by a swimsuit, your mouth, and also the ones that make you feel nervous, scared or worried. If any person is touching you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, that is a bad touch. Always tell your parents or other adults about bad touches. 

8. Empower your child to Say “NO!”

It’s good to teach your kids that they have the right to say “No!” to unwanted touching, even if that touching comes from a family member or someone that they know and love. This ability to say “No!” shows that they are in control of their body and that their feelings are respected. When kids are confident enough to say “No!”, even to things like tickling in the home sphere, they will be more confident in public as well. 

9. Help Your Child Trust Her Feelings/ Don’t Force Affection

Your child doesn’t have to hug and kiss everybody. If your child doesn’t want to give hugs and kisses to family members, neighbours or friends, respect that boundary and don’t force them. This empowers them to feel like they have control over their physical body.

 10. Trust your child’s instincts

 If your child feels uneasy around a relative or friend, don’t push or force her to like and trust that person. Too often we assume that since we trust that individual, our kids should too. Allow trust to happen naturally over time and under your supervision. There could be a legitimate reason for your child’s apprehension of an individual. Don’t force it.

11. Help your child create a “safety network”

Encourage your child to talk to you when she feels sad, anxious or frightened. You should also help her to identify three to five adults she trusts and could tell anything to. These people will make up her “safety network”. Have your child mention the people she wants on her ‘safety network’. Note: These should be adults who will listen to her concerns, believe her and are accessible. At least one person on her ‘safety network’ should not be a family member.

12. Practice/Role Play
Practice with your child what she should say (‘No! I don’t like that! STOP!’) and do (tell a member of her safety network) if she is ever asked to show or is touched in her private areas.

13. Teach your child what is visually inappropriate

Have discussions about pornography with your kids. Pornography creates physiological responses our children are not developmentally ready to deal with and understand and is so easily accessible these days. We need to be teaching our children to talk to us about what they may see and what to do if they are shown pornography.

It is also so important to speak to children about what to do if someone exposes themselves, but there is no touching involved. “If you see somebody else’s private parts, you should do your best to leave/ stop looking/ tell the person to stop and tell a member of your safety network as soon as possible.”

14. Ask Your Child Questions

Be careful about who you put your child in care of, where she spends time or sleep over. If she has to be away from you for a while, ask her questions at the right time, and under the right circumstances.

You may ask these questions the next time that your child is in someone else’s care and try to make questioning a consistent habit.  

Did you enjoy yourself?

How did you spend your time?  

What was your favourite part of the visit?

What was the least favourite part?

Did you feel safe?  

Was there anything else that you wanted to share?

15. Talk with your child about EVERYTHING

Teach her that private parts are special parts that need to be taken care of. Talk about how one day her babies will come through her vagina, so it is a part of her body to protect. Teach her why we can’t touch each other’s private parts. Tell her that body parts are things that you share when you get married, not when you are kids.

 

16. Learn the Signs of Abuse

 Many parents do not realise early on that their child is suffering at the hand of an abuser. You may not be a seer, but there are some behavioural changes to look out for in your child, which can help you quickly recognise if anything is happening so you can either start a dialogue with your child or go to the police. If you are not aware of these changes, This website also provides a good list of sexual abuse warning signs by age. Better awareness and education by parents and children are very key in stopping the rise of child sexual abusers. Being informed could save the children around you from a traumatic experience.

17. Teach your child the PANTS rule

PANTS is a simple acronym, a clue that makes it easy for parents to engage children in a discussion about sexual abuse. You can download a simple step-by-step parent guide to help you talk PANTS with your child and keep them safe or let pantosaurus teach your child the important rules of PANTS so they can stay safe here.

 

 

How to Help a Sexually Abused Child?

Children often fear to speak out about an abuse. Some delay talking about it for a long time, while some never get the courage to tell anyone. Thus, when they open up to you, it’s important to believe them and act on what you’ve been told. Some ways to help include:

  • Listen attentively to the child

Don’t put words in her mouth, don’t rush her, avoid exclamations as it may make her stop talking, suspend your views on the matter. JUST LISTEN!

  • Appreciate the child for speaking out

Assuring her that she has done the right thing can have a big impact on her about keeping secrets.

  • Let her know the abuse is not her fault

Sexual abuse is never a child’s fault, and a child must be told this.

  • Let her know you believe her

A child may keep an abuse secret in fear that nobody will believe her. Telling you shows she trusts you to believe and help her. So let her know you believe her.

  • Reassure the child of safety

Assure her that she will be safe and looked after and that you will do everything you can to stop the abuse.

  • Don’t confront the abuser

Confronting the abuser may make things worse for the child. Rather, explain to her that you’ll need to report the abuse to someone who will be able to help.

  • Keep to your word and Report the Abuser

The sooner the abuse is reported to the appropriate authority the better because the details will still be fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly.

  • Get her a professional evaluation, treatment and counselling

Because of the devastating effects of child sexual abuse, you need to get her an immediate professional evaluation, treatment and counselling. This will help her regain a sense of control over life, deal with feelings of shame or guilt over the abuse, begin the process of recovery from the trauma and prevent future problems.

Advice from Mums who/whose kids have been there

“if your child comes to you and tells you that something like this has happened to them, breath, stay calm and let them see by your reaction that it is a good thing that they told you. Then find them the help they need. If you respond by crying or expressing anger at the perpetrator, they will perceive your reaction as a negative towards them and be less open to further discussion. I am glad my child felt comfortable coming to me. It is scary. But there is help”

 

“Avoid your kids being alone with people, especially males. one of the things I encountered was the predator in my case masturbating in front of me on purpose in situations where I couldn’t get away… in a car alone while driving for instance. It’s just so awful that we have to worry about children this way. They are so innocent and this shouldn’t be an option for anyone to do to a child, but sadly, it is a reality”

“Never leave your child confused about a topic. Break down the topic clearly to her. My parents gave me, “Don’t let anyone touch you here, here, or here.” That was it, I didn’t understand why, but understood that it was important. I also never had any talks about sex. So when I got curious, I didn’t feel comfortable discussing the topic with my parents. I actually remember asking my mother what a virgin was because I had heard it on the television. She looked at me and stated, “Something you should be for a very very long time!” Her statement left me confused because the people on TV acted like it was a bad thing, and she was acting like it was a good thing”

“Parental reactions are so critical. When my sister was young, an older student pinned her down and touched her inappropriately. She told our brother, who in turn told our dad. Our dad was furious. My sister was in her room listening as my dad fumed and yelled at my brother “Who did it? Where does he live?” It makes sense from a parental perspective, but my sister thought she got our brother in trouble and regretted telling him. Luckily it never happened again, but if it had, she may not have told anyone”

“please don’t keep what happened in the dark. Talk about it with your kids and trusted friends. Darkness hates light. After my kids were molested, all the horror stories I heard from loved ones were about how their sexual abuse had been kept a shameful secret or an ignored event that they felt was not to be dealt with. The shame and confusion I heard about were devastating. But sexual abuse can be turned into a positive if we use it to empower our children. Make them feel like they are valued and deserve better treatment. Make sure they don’t feel damaged as so many victims do. That is how victims get caught in a cycle of continuous abuse. My hope is that my 4-year-old will know that if anyone messes with her again, she can tell and action will be taken against her abuser”

Wow!!! Thanks for reading through this helpful insight about child sexual abuse. Now it’s your turn to share with us what you have experienced, what you know and what you would like us to know. Keep them coming in the comments section respectfully!

CHORES FOR KIDS MADE FUN IN 5 CLEVER WAYS

 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how capable are your kids when it comes to house chores? Do you assign chores for kids? Can your kids tidy up their bedroom? Wash their clothes? Sweep and mop the floor? Clean dishes?

Many Parents give several excuses when asked why they give little responsibilities to their kids at home. Such excuses include “it’s faster when I do the job myself”, “The kids won’t do the job to my satisfaction”, “I will end up expending more energy yelling and shouting over getting the job done”, “The kids complain that the job is too much for them”, “It’s not yet time for them to start helping with house chores” and many more.

Kids doing chores is one of the ways we prepare them for the future. One thing we need to know is that when we do all the work for them, we are saying they are not capable of doing it themselves, and we are not carrying out our responsibilities as parents; which is to teach them to be able to survive and thrive when they leave our nests and go out into the real world. Chores for kids are assigned based on their age, and so, there are chores every age group can do.

Reports from a research show that kids doing chores result into many benefits, academically, emotionally and even professionally. Children who began helping with household chores as early as 3-4years old grew up to be more self-sufficient, successful in academics and career and have better relationships as adults when compared to other children who started doing chores later in life.

We can begin raising responsible, capable adults by giving our kids responsibility for their actions, their belongings and their home. When we hold them accountable for things (even if it is painful or uncomfortable for us and the kids), It is then we are truly raising responsible children. Doing this will take an intentional effort and patience on our part as parents.

Parents use various styles to get kids to help around the house. Two very common ones are:

  1. The authoritative style: in which the parent lists out or dictates what the kids are expected to do within a timeframe and enforce it strictly by either withholding privileges, threatening or punishing the kids if the chores are undone.

 

  1. The Teamwork style: In which the parents work as a team with the kids to get the chores done.

Though both of these styles have their pros and cons in getting kids to do house chores, the authoritative style carries along with it a sense of oppression and could lead to mutiny brewing.

The teamwork style, on the other hand, factors a sense of harmony and connection. Though there may be some arguing and quarrelling, but it is mostly merry and fun. Highlighted below are five interesting ways we can put the teamwork style to play in assigning chores for kids in our homes.

<img src="image.png" alt="making-chores-for-kids-fun">
making chores for kids fun

 

  1. 1. Do the daily chores for kids together with the kids

 This can be achieved in several ways. For example, ask the kids to fill their water bottles while you pack their lunch, ask them to set the table while you get dinner ready, ask them to sort the cutleries into the cutlery rack/stand while you wash the dishes, ask them to put washed clothes into their wardrobes or drawers while you fold them. The goal here is to do things together rather than assigning or ordering them to do a chore. However, you must ensure that the task assigned is appropriate with the age of the child and should not endanger their lives. See some examples of age-appropriate chores for children below:  

     

Age 2-3

  • Pack all toys and items away
  • Wipe a spill with towel
  • Fold and place clothes into correct drawers
  • Carry dishes into the kitchen sink after eating
  • Start using utensils correctly.

 Age 4-5

  • Set the table
  • Tidy up the room
  • Wash the dishes, standing on a stool
  • Make their beds
  • Dress themselves

 Age 6-8

  • Sweep or vacuum
  • Help in the kitchen
  • Be responsible for homework
  • Sort clothes in the laundry
  • Clean or polish

 Age 9-12

  • Clean the toilet
  • Cook simple meals
  • Wash/dry clothes
  • Mop floors
  • Supervise younger children’s chores

 Age 13-15

  • Make full meals
  • Clean fridge/freezer
  • Babysit sibling
  • Iron clothes
  • Wash car
  • Run errands outside the home

Take note to set the bar high for the kids. When you do this, the kids will reach for it and most of them will make it. If you set the bar at a reasonable height, they will meet it too, but then you’ll never know what they were really capable of doing.

Some of these challenges may seem like they are too much for your kids. Challenge them to master these tasks anyway, and you will be shocked they will achieve it. See below for an infographic on age-appropriate chores for children.

<img src="image.png" alt="age-appropriate-chores-for-children">
age-appropriate chores for children

 

 

 

  1. 2. Refrain from “Nagging” to get the task done

 

Rather than use the authoritative style of threatening and punishing to get tasks done, find interesting ways to make kids take responsibility for the tasks. Here are a few ways to do that:

 

  • Make it fun: You may decide to play games with your kids while you do the chores. For example, as my kids and I sort the clothes in the laundry, the person with the most sorted clothes becomes the “Super helper” of the day and assigns the next task to everyone. With this, the kids happily join me in the laundry.                                                                                                                       
  • Sneak it in: While you are having a discussion that interests your kid, sneak the chore in. Like arranging the washed dishes on the rack. Do this a few times until the child associates the chore to the time to talk about interesting things.                                                                                                                       
  • Use your voice effectively: This can be achieved by stating clearly what you want your kids to achieve. For example, If you want their room cleaned, you may say “you need to fold your clean clothes into your wardrobe, pick up all toys and trash from the floor and lay your bed”. Also, you may humorously remind them that they need to perform chores or use short simple one-word reminders like “tidy” to remind them to tidy up their room.

 

  1. 3. Avoid power struggle

Note that kids will always be kids, and so many times may refuse to do what they are asked to do. Rather than losing your cool, you can use the following approach from the book “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk” by Faber and Mazlish. If you want your child to help with setting the table, you can:

  • Describe what you see or the problem: So, instead of ordering your child to set the table, you may simply say “Mike, the table needs to be set” or “Oh! its dinner time and the table isn’t set yet”. This will get the job done faster than an order.

 

  • Give Information: You could say “I’m tired after a long day and looking forward to a nice dinner. I don’t mind some help in setting the table” or you could take it a step further and add in a playful tone “where are my super helpers that always help me with setting the table?” Giving them the identity of a “helper” makes them more likely to get involved.

 

  • Say it with a word: Kids hate when we rant and rave or lecture them over what should be done. Instead, use single word reminders like “table” for setting the table, “dishes” for washing the dishes, “Lights” for switching on/off the lights. This can sometimes be fun for the kids.

                                                        

  1. 4. Praise kids when they take responsibility

When you praise/acknowledge kids for doing one task, they will be motivated to be your super-helpers on the next task. They may even surprise you at times by doing chores you didn’t ask them to do. To do this, however,    

                                                                   

 

  • Use descriptive praise instead: like “I love the way you arranged those boxes, it makes the room lot lighter” or “Don’t  you observe the room is a lot lighter after you arranged those boxes?

 

  • Share your feelings: Let them know why you appreciate their help. For example, “I always have a busy day. Your help with setting the dinner table makes dinner more enjoyable and less of a chore to me.

 

  • Learn to say “Thank you”: Sometimes, that’s all that is needed.                                                                                                                                           
  • Resist the urge to immediately correct what they completed: This may make them feel that whatever they do is never good enough for you.

 

 

  1. 5. Use Chore Chart for kids

Having chore charts for kids in the home makes you nag/yell less as the kids will have a go-to guide for what is expected of them each day. Get a free chore chart for kids here and use points to motivate them to do their chores. Assign points for each chore and as your kids complete a chore, sit with them to enter the date and the point earned on the chart.

 

At the end of the week, your kids can exchange their points for simple rewards that you all have agreed upon together. There must be a minimum total weekly point to earn a reward.

 

Kids benefit from using chore charts because they provide a consistent reminder of the chores, responsibilities and tasks that they need to complete each day. Children enjoy marking chores on the chart as they complete them and are motivated by the rewards they can receive with the points they earn. I use the chart below for my kids.

<img src="image.png" alt="weekly-chore-chart-for-kids">
weekly chore chart for kids

 

  You can download/print your free blank chore chart for kids here and fill to suit your home kids chores.

 

Something noteworthy however is that some days, our kids don’t just want to do things. Kindly give room for them to be themselves.  On such days, please understand. Try your best to see if you can get them to do it.

 

 However, if nothing works, do the task yourself. If you can’t, then let it slide. It’s O.k. On such days, you need to tell yourself that “it’s O.K. to have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles and “Happy kids”.

 

What ways have worked for you in getting kids to do house chores?  How do you assign chores for kids? what good/bad results have evolved from techniques you applied in getting your kids to do chores? Which of these tactics appeal most to you? Kindly share with other parents in the comments section.

 

 

7 Health symptoms parents must never overlook in children

7 Important Health Symptoms To Note In Kids.

 

These are health symptoms parents must never overlook in Children. As Parents, one of our top priorities is our children’s health. When they fall ill, we are always quite confused about either taking them to the doctor or waiting to see how their health performs after first aid treatments. While some symptoms such as a runny nose and cough are often normal and not a cause for concern, some others point to a major health issue and should never be overlooked. These symptoms will need you to take your kids to the doctor if they persist. Some of these symptoms are:

1. Severe headache 

 

Image by David C. Dominici@Freedigitalphoto.net

According to WebMD, If a headache doesn’t go away with over-the-counter pain relievers and/or rest, or a headache endures for several hours, or if the pain is so intense that your child can’t eat, play, or even enjoy her favorite TV show, then it is severe and you need to see the doctor. If a headache is severe enough to incapacitate the child, then it needs to be attended to urgently.

When a headache is accompanied by blurred vision, confusion or difficulty in walking, vomiting, fever, stiff neck and rashes, you should see the doctor quickly as these could indicate serious conditions like meningitis which is considered a medical emergency.

 

2. Lasting stomach pain

Image by Arztsamui@Freedigitalphoto.net

According to MedlinePlus, almost all children have abdominal pain at one time or another. Abdominal pain is a pain in the stomach or belly area. Most of the time, it is not caused by a serious medical problem. But sometimes abdominal pain can be a sign of something serious. As a parent, you need to learn when you should seek medical care right away for your child with abdominal pains.

When your child complains of abdominal pain, see if they can describe it to you. Then you can place it in any of the following different kinds of pain and react appropriately.

  • Generalised pain or pain over more than half of the belly. Your child can have this kind of pain when they have a stomach virus, indigestion, gas, or when they become constipated. It is usually not serious.
  • Cramp-like pain is likely to be due to gas and bloating. It is often followed by diarrhoea. It is usually not serious.
  • Colicky pain is pain that comes in waves, usually starts and ends suddenly, and is often severe.
  • Localised pain is a pain in only one area of the belly. Your child may be having problems with their appendix, gallbladder, a hernia (twisted bowel), ovary, testicles, or stomach (ulcers). It is often severe.

If your child is complaining about pain on the right side of the abdomen, visit the doctor, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea. This can be a sign of appendicitis, a condition that progresses rapidly unless diagnosed quickly.

 

3. Breathing problems

Image by Tiverylucky@freedigitalphoto.net

 While temporary breathing inconsistency may be caused by exercise, noisy, troubled breathing can be more serious. “Breathing problems are more worrisome when the sounds come from the chest and lungs, not the nose, and may be a sign of an allergic reaction, an asthma attack, choking, pneumonia or whooping cough.

According to WebMD, you can check your child’s respiratory rate by counting the number of times her chest rises in a minute. For kids 1 to 5 years old, a normal resting breathing rate falls between 20 to 30 breaths per minute. For 4 to 12-year-olds, it’s 12 to 30 breaths per minute.

If you notice your child is having breathing problems, take her to your doctor.

 

4. Persistent or high fever

Image by Kdshutterman@freedigitalphoto.net

 According to Mayo Clinic, A fever is a common sign of illness, though not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, fevers seem to play a key role in fighting infections. A higher body temperature enhances the internal workings of the cell. This means disease-fighting cells respond faster, and immune responses increase. A very high fever, however, can indicate a serious infection or problem.  

According to WebMD, if your child is below 2 years old, she should be seen by a doctor within 48 hours of a high fever. Further recommendation states that you take your child to the doctor if her fever is 40 °C or higher and has persisted for four or more days in a row.

 Call the doctor if the fever is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, severe stomach ache, and severe headache. Watch out for uncharacteristic behaviours as well. You know your child best so you know when her fever is causing her to be irritable and inactive. Notice if she’s not making eye contact with you or isn’t responding to your voice. 

 

5. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea

Image by Jomphong@freedigitalphoto.net

 According to NHS, It’s normal for babies and children to vomit occasionally. In most cases, it will last no longer than one to two days and isn’t a sign of anything serious.

The most common cause of vomiting in children and babies is gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the gut usually caused by a virus or bacteria, which also causes diarrhoea. The symptoms can be unpleasant but your child will usually start to feel better after a few days.

However, persistent vomiting can sometimes cause your child to become severely dehydrated and occasionally it can be a sign of something more serious, such as meningitis. Dehydration can also cause serious complications including low blood volume shock, which can be life-threatening. 

If your child vomits, you should keep a close eye on her. If the cause is just a tummy bug, your child should still be feeling well enough to eat, play and be her usual self. In this case, keep feeding her as normal and offer her regular drinks.

But if she doesn’t seem herself – for example, if she’s flaccid, irritable or less responsive –  she may be seriously ill, so you should get medical help immediately.

You should contact your doctor if your child is repeatedly vomiting and is unable to retain fluids, if she’s dehydrated, if her vomit is green or contains blood and if she has been vomiting for more than a day or two.

 

6. Excessive bleeding

Image by Kdshutterman@freedigitalphoto.net

 According to Healthline,  Injuries and certain medical conditions can result in bleeding. This can trigger anxiety and fear, but the bleeding has a healing purpose. However, you still need to understand when to treat common bleeding incidents such as cuts and bloody noses, as well as when to seek medical help.

Before you begin to treat your child for an injury, you should identify its severity as best as you can. There are some situations in which you shouldn’t try to administer any kind of first aid at all. If you suspect that there’s internal bleeding or if there’s an embedded object surrounding the site of the injury, immediately seek medical help.

Also, seek immediate medical care for a cut or wound if it’s deep, or a puncture wound, or it’s on the face, or the result of an animal bite. Furthermore, if there’s dirt that won’t come out after washing or the bleeding will not stop after 15 to 20 minutes of first aid, you should seek medical help.

 

7. Weight loss 

Image by Nenetus@freedigitalphotos.net

 According to Livestrong, unintentional weight loss in children can happen for a number of reasons. These reasons include thyroid problems, pain or sores in the mouth, illness, metabolism issues and rarely, cancer. Each of these conditions poses problems with weight loss in children. Consult your doctor if you notice drastic weight loss in your child as it can have adverse effects on your child’s overall health and development.

To identify unintentional weight loss in your child, it is important to pay close attention to her eating habits as well as daily routine. If you notice that your child has lost over 5 percent of her body weight over a period of fewer than six months, you should contact your doctor immediately.

 Look for small changes such as mouth sores, loose teeth, complaints of pain or illness or loss of appetite due to behavioural problems or depression. These may all be reasons for your child’s unintentional weight loss. At times, some of the following symptoms may accompany weight loss; fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, sore throat, decreased urination and being overly tired. Consult your doctor if your child experiences any of these symptoms as he may need to evaluate your child.

These are some reasons your child will need to go to the doctor throughout her growing years. While doctor’s visits are usually routine, some are not. When you are aware of possibly serious symptoms, illnesses can be caught early and treated before complications arise.

It is important to take immediate action if you notice your child is suffering one or more of these symptoms discussed above. Even if it turns out that it is nothing serious, it is better to be safe than sorry. If, even after a visit to the doctor, the situation worsens or the symptoms do not go away, consult a second opinion.

Do you have any additional health symptoms parents must not overlook in their children? Kindly share with us in the comments section below.

 

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR KID’S PICTURES ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO AVOID MISUSE

protecting kids' photos on social media
protecting kid’s photos on social media

10 important things to note and do before sharing your kid’s photos online

One common trend on social media is sharing pictures of our kids, which gives rise to the need to protect our kids’ pictures on social media. Some of those who practise this trend claim it helps them share the developmental stages of their kids with friends and relatives who may not be within reach, makes them feel less alone, helps them worry less and keep memories. Many others claim it helps them get advice from other parents on issues such as nutrition, discipline, behaviour problems among others. One important question to ask is “How safe is this practice”. While it is easy to connect with others and share memories via social media, it’s also convenient for identity thieves and other criminals to use people’s pictures for wicked purposes.

some facts worth noting about sharing our kids’ photos online

  1. When you sign up to social networking sites you also partly agree with them using your personal data to some extent.
  2. By posting photos of your kids you have made a part of their lives become permanently available online without their consent which forms their identities in a world they are not ready to enter.
  3. Useful information may be gathered by kidnappers, traitors and witch hunters from the comments made on the photos by family and friends.
  4. Your kid’s picture is a valuable information for data collectors and advertisers because the photo automatically reveals you as someone who will need kids products.
  5. If the GPS (global positioning system) is enabled on your phone, the time you took the photo and your exact location can be disclosed to an interested party. This implies that if you snap a picture at home on your camera phone, it is possible that a stranger finds where you live.
  6. Once you post a photo online, you lose control over it. Anyone could easily copy the photo, tag it, save it, or use it as he or she pleases without your knowledge. Some of the several ways the photos can be misused include:
  • Baby-role playing: A trend on social media, especially Instagram which involves users posting a photo of a child they find online and claim it’s their child. They post things about the baby, while followers play along by commenting on the photos. A search for hashtags like #babyrp,  #kidrp or #adoptionrp will reveal thousands of these posts.
  • Child pornography: Innocent family photos can also be taken from blogs, social media accounts, or other photo-sharing sites and posted with other inappropriate content, captions or comments that lead to links of child pornography.
  • Advertising: Some advertisers will take photos they find on the Internet and use them in ad campaigns or promoting a product elsewhere. Several of such experiences abound all over. While some eventually get to know about it, many others never find out about it. You never can tell if your child is in an ad photo right now.
  • Fake profiles: We all know there are a lot of profiles and accounts on social media that are not real, and used for a number of different purposes, most often to scam other people. Those who create them often use stolen images, which means your kid’s photos could be someone else’s profile.
  • Memes: A funny picture of your child may become an Internet sensation. Though the picture is funny, using it without your permission is not a laughing matter. And once it’s out there, we both know it’s pretty hard to delete as it may have been shared by multiple users on multiple sites.
  • Kidnapping: Photos of your child may be shared with kidnappers or traitors to help identify the child quickly. Thereafter, you are asked to pay huge sums as a ransom for the child.

Having read all these, should you never post pictures of your children online? No! Rather, you should carefully think through and safeguard photos and information about your children before posting on the Internet.

10 ideas for protecting your kid’s photos and avoiding misuse

  1. Make your accounts or your photos private if you must post pictures of your children and don’t want people using it for other purposes. You can learn how to do this on most popular social media sites from This info-graphic
  2. use photo-sharing sites such as Flickr that require users to log in to see pictures unlike on social media, where all your followers can see them.
  3. Be careful about who you share with. You can share pictures of your children with only your closest friends and family.
  4. Watermark your photos. This discourages people from stealing your photos because it’s more work for them to remove a watermark. Learn how-to-watermark-your-photos here or you can download  iWatermark app or  A+ Signature app
  5. Don’t share your location. Turn off location settings (GPS) on your phone and don’t post pictures that would help someone identify where you are or where you live.
  6. Post low-resolution photos. This makes it hard for someone to enlarge and print your pictures, thus making them unsuitable for things like advertisements. This step-by-step guide can help you out with that.
  7. Carefully select the photos you share. To avoid theft by predators or baby-role players, let the photos include other people.
  8. Do not post embarrassing pictures of your kids. A picture that is funny to you now may be humiliating for him in the future.
  9. Google Image Search can trace your children’s photos anywhere on the web. Upload a picture and the search engine will find the same image, even if the photo has been cropped or resized. If the same picture is posted anywhere else on the internet, Google will pull it up. Many people have been shocked to discover that their children’s profile pictures have been used without permission.
  10. Examine deeply your motive for sharing the picture. If strong enough, go ahead. Otherwise, don’t post it.

Even with these precautions, there is still a chance that your photos could be misused, so always upload responsibly to ensure the well-being of your kids.

As for me, I hardly post pictures of my kids on any social media accounts majorly for security reasons; As I definitely loose control over what is being done to the pictures once they are posted.

Do you share your kids’ photos online? What’s your motive for this decision? Kindly share your opinion on this issue in the comments section below. We may learn something new from you. Please keep your comments respectful.