I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the teens are doing stupid stuff again. And I am compelled once again to bring it to your attention. I know, I know, when AREN’T adolescents doing moronic things with their BFFs, but that is beside the point. We all did our share – it’s part of our development and our right as citizens of this planet. But information/education can save lives and that is my job as a computerized nurse.
“Cinnamon challenges” have been on the news recently (and all over YouTube) warning parents about the dangers this youthful game can present on their health. You might have laughed it off or thought, “Boy, glad my kid isn’t that stupid!”
But I’m here to tell you, the Governor of Illinois was caught on YouTube choking down cinnamon because he thought this “game” wasn’t that dangerous. People are not aware of the severe lasting effects of this challenge.
This popular challenge is when persons eat a large spoonful of ground cinnamon. The spice itself is not toxic, but the problem arises when the person ingesting the powdered spice starts to laugh, choke or cough and the particles go down their airways instead of their esophagus to their stomach. Cinnamon dust particles in the lungs are dangerous.
According to the New York Times, “A report published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday found that the stunt has led to a growing number of calls to poison control centers and visits to emergency rooms. Some teenagers have suffered collapsed lungs and ended up on ventilators.” Large quantities adhered to the lungs when inhaled, causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs resembling emphysema.
Even if you think your child wouldn’t do something this ridiculous, just trust me and bring it up casually at dinner. See if they have heard of someone doing this challenge and check if they think it’s funny. NOW you will have your educating moment.
Good luck and let me know how your talk went. I’d love to hear back from you all, to hear how kids are responding to this around the country. ~ Stacey
This one is really extreme and she is choking. Her “friend” the cameraman laughs through the entire thing. Don’t let this be your child. THIS MIGHT BE DISTURBING FOR SOME VIEWERS
previously published at KC Parent magazine – December 2012
This might be comical to the general public. But if you are a young man with a growing Adam’s apple, pubertal changes and are frequently living a Brady Bunch episode of Peter squawking “Time to Change,” life’s not so amusing.
What causes it?
Puberty is taxing for all youth, but this stage can be especially challenging for teen boys. “Puberty for boys usually occurs from 11 to 16 years of age. Vocal changes only happen for a year or two out of that—and they typically happen later in the range,” says Dr. Steve Schuman, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics in Kansas City, MO.
“This (vocal) transitional phase is related to the size of the voice box. As the larynx or voice box and the vocal cords get thicker and larger, it changes how sound goes through them,” says Dr. Schuman.
When a boy is young, his vocal cords are thin and short. This is what makes his voice higher than adult males. The bigger and longer the cords, the deeper the voice becomes. During the transition, the mechanism doesn’t know how to deal with the change effectively. When the growing of the vocal equipment stops, the vocal “cracking” ceases.
“Kind of like a virtuoso who is playing a violin and he accidentally lets up on the string. There’s a squeak on the violin, when it’s not being played accurately—same kind of sound production with the male voice,” Dr. Schuman analogizes.
Dealing with vocal cracks
First, suggest your son try clearing his throat/voice and then waiting for a few seconds for the mechanism to calm down. Dehydration makes this condition worse. “Lubricating the vocal cords can lessen the problem,” suggests Dr. Schuman. Increasing the intake of clear fluids, decreasing the amount of caffeine and, if still needed, taking cough drops or hard candies can keep the vocal cords lubricated.
After all…with a little bit of patience and awkward squawking, your boy will have that deep voice he has been waiting for! Last day to vote for Nurse Mommy Laughs blog (thank heavens!!!!!) Please be a friend and click twice and help me keep my spot. Thanks!
Bullying isn’t original for this generation of children; but perhaps the methodology of preventing your child from being threatened by the proverbial “thugs” has changed. You don’t have to start your preschooler in Karate or dress them in designer clothes to ensure they won’t get picked on because, unfortunately, genetics plays a mean hand in this longstanding battle.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Children who are smaller, weaker, and appear shyer than other classmates are typically targeted by bullies. There’s no gender discrimination when it comes to bullying – both boys and girls can be targets AND bullies. However, kids who easily get emotional (i.e., crying, angry), or “give in” to their bully, puts them at a higher risk for being repeated targets.
Bullying can occur anywhere: at school (recess, lunch room, bathroom, hallways, or any place a teacher isn’t watching), when adults are absent (around the neighborhood, on the way to school, church or extra-curricular activities) or via computers or cell phones (emails and texting are increasing in severity and frequency of harassment). Bullying can be verbal, social and/or physical, or it can be one or a combination of these; but each type is just as destructive to the psyche of the bullied child. Examples of bullied attacks:
Social: Excludes child from events and stories, start rumors about them.
Physical: Pushes, slaps, punches, kicks, chokes.
ADDRESSING ISSUE HEAD ON
If you believe your child isn’t being bullied, it’s still beneficial to have the “bully conversation” with your family. They may know someone being mistreated and want to help, OR you could be wrong and someone is actually picking on your child. When there are no distractions and emotions are calm, ask your child, “Do you like all the kids in your class?” “Does everyone get along?” “Is anyone getting picked on or bullied?” Then educate in these areas:
1. Ask for help: Adults may need to mediate when the bullying occurs. Tell your child it’s appropriate and not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s not the child’s fault they are being attacked. “If a store is being robbed, doesn’t the store clerk call the police for backup?”
2. Make more friends: Four against one is better odds. If your child has friends who will stick up for him and verbally defend him, your child’s self-esteem will increase and he will find strength in numbers.
3. Extra-curricular activities: Being involved in a group, school club, or sports team will makes them feel like they “belong.” Just make sure they don’t join the same team as the bully.
4. Alerting school officials: Let everyone involved in your child’s life at the school know about the bullying, so they can intervene. If school officials don’t know of the problem, protect your child. Speak with the principal, the guidance counselor, and your child’s teachers. It takes a team to stifle this type of behavior.
If your child needs to approach his or her bully and training needs to take place, there are a few skills you can work on to get your kiddo through self-esteem “boot camp.” First you verbally educate her on how to stand up to the bully. Then you must “play act” these skills with your child. Usually, you will have to do this repeatedly or she won’t muster up the strength to address the bully. First, she must look the bully in the eye while standing tall and staying as calm as can be. Then she should announce her “catch phrase” and walk away strongly and proudly. This is NOT an easy task…hence, practice with your child.
Teach your child to say in a clear, firm voice: (AAP recommendations)
“I don’t like what you are doing.”
“Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
“Why would you say that?”
UH-OH! YOUR KID’S THE BULLY!
If you discover your child displaying bullying behavior, don’t waste time because typically their actions worsen with time. Take bullying seriously, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), follow these guidelines for the child:
Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior. Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
Be a positive role model. Children need to develop new and constructive strategies for getting what they want.
Show children that they can get what they want without teasing, threatening, or hurting someone. All children can learn to treat others with respect.
Use effective, nonphysical discipline, such as loss of privileges. When your child needs discipline, explain why the behavior was wrong and how your child can change it.
Help your child understand how bullying hurts other children. Give real examples of the good and bad results of your child’s actions.
Develop practical solutions with others. Together with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied, find positive ways to stop the bullying.
As always, if you see your child’s behavior progressing or spiraling out of control, make sure to consult with your child’s medical provider.
What’s your bullying story? Were you or your child ever victims of a bully’s attack? Does your child’s school have an interesting policy on bullying? Is this information useful to you and your family? Please share below in the comment section… Stacey
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