Posts Tagged ‘ gun violence ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Most Restaurant Kids’ Meals Packed With Calories
Most kids’ meals at the USA’s top chain restaurants are still failing to make the grade when it comes to good nutrition, a new analysis finds. (via USA Today)

Genetic Variants and Wheezing Put Kids At Risk For Asthma
Almost every toddler will sniffle through a cold by the time they are three, but if they wheeze while they’re sick, they may be at higher risk of developing asthma. (via TIME)

Quality Preschool Benefits Poor and Affluent Kids, Study Finds
Quality prekindergarten programs can boost children’s school skills whether the kids come from poor or well-off homes, a new study shows. (via NBC News)

Bulletproof Backpacks for Kids: Cautious Protection or Feeding Anxiety?
A wave of parents are willing to try the extreme and controversial measure of making their children wear bulletproof materials to protect them at school in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., and other school shootings. But gun control advocates see this as a disturbing sign of how willing we have become to accept gun violence as the norm. (via ABC News)

Warren Buffett On Teaching Kids Smart Investing, With Cartoons
Kids will learn practical and valuable lessons about money management and can easily relate to the easy-going and fun, animated series. (via Forbes)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Armed Teachers Bill: Florida Rep. Greg Steube Meets Opposition In School Boards
Your child’s third-grade teacher might be packing more than a lesson plan in the classroom if a bill designed to make schools safer becomes law. (via Huffington Post)

Denver School Cheating, Moody’s Likes Philly School Closings: Ed Today
According to Ed News Colorado, about 35 high school students figured out how to go into their teachers’ computer system. They changed their grades on instant “mastery tests” to make it look as if they’d entered the correct answers in the first place. (via Huffington Post)

Despite Evidence, Parents’ Fears of HPV Vaccine Grow
More parents of teen girls not fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) are intending to forgo the shots altogether – a trend driven by vaccine safety concerns, new research suggests. (via Reuters)

Grandparents Stepping Up to Help Fund Grandkids’ Education
Go to a workshop on how to pay for your kids’ college education, and you’ll see more gray hair in the audience than in years past. (via Today)

Faced With Eviction and Medical Bills, Parents Take Kids Along for Crime
Police in Utah say they’ve arrested a husband and wife bank robbery team that took their two young children along for the ride. (via ABC News)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Indiana Teacher Gun Threat? Lake Station Teacher On Leave Over ‘Guns’ Message On Chalkboard
A northwest Indiana teacher is the subject of a police probe over a threatening message he scrawled on the chalkboard of his classroom. (via Huffington Post)

Transgender Student Rights Would Be Guaranteed Under Proposed California Law
A California lawmaker has introduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing transgender students the right to use public school restrooms and participate on the sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders. (via Huffington Post)

Mom’s Placenta Reflects Her Exposure to Stress and Impacts Offsprings’ Brains
According to a new study by a research group from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, if a mother is exposed to stress during pregnancy, her placenta translates that experience to her fetus by altering levels of a protein that affects the developing brains of male and female offspring differently. (via Science Daily)

Is Baby Still Breathing? Is Mom’s Obsession Normal?
A new Northwestern Medicine® study found that women who have recently given birth have a much higher rate of obsessive-compulsive symptoms than the general population. (via Science Daily)

U.S. Baby’s Cure From HIV Raises Hope, New Questions
The remarkable case of a baby being cured of HIV infection in the United States using readily available drugs has raised new hope for eradicating the infection in infants worldwide, but scientists say it will take a lot more research and much more sensitive diagnostics before this hope becomes a reality. (via Reuters)

Michelle Obama: I Don’t Talk About Weight With My Daughters
Michelle Obama offered a peek inside the first family’s healthy habits on Monday, revealing there’s one thing they never talk about at home: weight. (via Today)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Proposal Would Make Preschool Available to All American Children Within Five Years
The plan was released by the Center for American Progress, which has close ties to the White House. Education Department officials have signaled that President Obama will make pre-kindergarten programs a priority during his second term. (via NY Daily News)

NYC First to Get Realistic Shooting Simulation Game for Kids
A shooting simulation game that lets children pretend to have shootouts in an indoor fake village with a bank, offices and what appears to be a school has come to Queens and is raising concern among law enforcement authorities. (via NBC New York)

New Whooping Cough Strain in US Raises Questions
Researchers have discovered the first U.S. cases of whooping cough caused by a germ that may be resistant to the vaccine. Health officials are looking into whether cases like the dozen found in Philadelphia might be one reason the nation just had its worst year for whooping cough in six decades. The new bug was previously reported in Japan, France and Finland. (via Fox News)

Restaurant’s ‘Well-Behaved Kids’ Discount Goes Viral; Mom Shares Her Secrets
Laura King expected a tally of good food on her restaurant tab. A credit for her children’s good manners, on the other hand, came as quite a surprise. (via Today)

Black Parents Claim Disneyland Character Refused to Touch Their Kids
An African-American family is suing Disneyland after, the family claims, an actor who portrayed the White Rabbit character from “Alice in Wonderland” refused to hug or touch their children because of their skin color, reports CBS Los Angeles station KCBS-TV. (via CBS News)

Air Pollution May Lower Birth Weight
A pregnant woman’s exposure to outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of her baby being born at a lower birth weight, according to a large multinational study. (via MyHealthNewsDaily)

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Okay, This is Why Pediatricians Should Ask Parents About Guns

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As we explain in this story, there’s debate among certain groups over whether pediatricians should be allowed to discuss gun safety with parents. The quick version: Pediatricians want to determine how safe a child’s home is, and asking whether there’s a gun–and whether it’s stored unloaded, and in a locked cabinet, and in a place separate from ammunition–is a logical part of that conversation. Gun advocates say it’s an invasion of privacy and a threat to the Second Amendment, and in many states there are efforts to punish doctors who initiate this discussion with large fines or jail time or both.

You may have heard that yesterday, a 7-year-old boy brought a semiautomatic pistol to his prep school in Queens, New York. (That is not him in the photo.) It hasn’t been revealed yet whether the gun was loaded, but the boy did bring the gun’s magazine, filled with bullets, as well as a plastic bag with at least another seven rounds of ammunition. According to the story I read in the New York Times, the police believe that the boy’s mom somehow found out about the gun, and arrived at the school around 9:30 a.m. under the pretense of taking her son to a dentist’s appointment. “It would appear that the intention was just to get the gun back and get it out of the school,” said one officer. But when her son told her he put it in a classmate’s backpack, she alerted the principal. The gun and ammo were found right away (they were in her son’s bag after all), but the school was put on lockdown for several hours. An 8-year-old was quoted as saying, “They made us turn off the lights and hide behind the teacher’s desk. I almost cried. I was afraid I was going to get shot.”

There are lots of unanswered questions at this point, but it seems likely that the mother–who was arrested this morning and charged with criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, among other things–had no idea that her son was carrying a gun and bullets in his backpack when he went to school. I can’t help but wonder: If we were more open to the idea of having pediatricians talk about gun safety, maybe those conversations would be more commonplace… and parents would have their eyes opened to the precautions they must take if they have a gun in their home.

 

Photo: Serious little boy with the big black pistol via Shutterstock.

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What to Say About the Sandy Hook Tragedy Before School Tomorrow

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

I tried hard to shield my children, ages 4 and 7, from what happened in Connecticut, taking the advice of so many mental health professionals who advise telling young kids as little as possible about the events. But as I’m sure lots of you experienced yourselves, it’s nearly impossible, even if you kept the TV off all weekend, as we have. For our family, the radio interrupted 24/7 holiday music with condolences to the families of Newtown; going online offered a glimpse of CNN’s home page; and even a trip to the bagel store, where three piles of newspapers sat by the door, revealed too much. So like many parents, we’re having some tough conversations and doing the best we can.

What I’m concerned about now is what may come up at school tomorrow. My 2nd-grader’s teacher has notified us that she’ll say nothing of the events, though if it comes up she’ll discuss it as briefly and simply as possible, which I appreciate. I feel like I need to say a little more to my daughter before she returns to school, though, and I was glad when I got an email from a friend who works with the New Jersey nonprofit Good Grief, which helps children and teens cope with loss. She forwarded these words of guidance from Good Grief’s associate executive director, Joe Primo; perhaps you’ll find them useful, too.

Having a conversation about the shooting this weekend is probably a smart and important thing to do before school on Monday.  Classmates will have their own interpretation of the events; many of those narratives will have been learned this weekend from the media and the adults in their lives. There is not a lot we control about these events, but we can play a big role in how our children hear and come to understand the events. We can best support our children by having an honest dialogue that helps build coping skills and taps into their inherent resiliency. Below is a script you might try.

Adult: So, Alex, have you heard about the sad thing that happened to a school in Connecticut?
Don’t assume Alex doesn’t already know. She may have picked it up already.
Adult: Somebody hurt a lot of children with a gun. It’s very sad. Children died.
WAIT to see how the child responds.
Adult: I think a lot of your friends and teachers will be talking about it on Monday. I would like us to talk about it too.
Allow the conversation to happen and be spontaneous. Here are some things you should know about reactions:
  • No child ever responds the same
  • Children may have an increased sense of fear for their safety
  • Children may be afraid to return to school or name “scary kids” in their school
  • Child process information in fragments. They may take it in and then quickly move onto something else.
Adult: I wonder how these things happen.
Wait to see if the child has ideas of her own.
Adult: Assure the child that their school (name administrators and teachers) works hard to keep them safe. You can encourage them to listen to their teachers about safety protocol. Assure them of your love and allow them to explore their reactions.
Often times, being together and offering each other love are the most meaningful things we can tell our children.
For more on the Sandy Hook tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:
Image via Good Grief.
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