US Children’s Health Insurance Program

US Healthcare

It has been scary to see the failure of the United States Congress to forge bipartisan compromises in order to pass certain bills. The Congress had been so fixated over funding the Department of Homeland Security that it fails to see other problems. This dysfunction has prevented Congress from getting something to accomplish. Congress needs to start working other bill as well. Congress had been face the dilemma over the pressing for Japan to recognize Korean comfort women. Congress could begin the process by finding common ground on a few important issues of importance to American children, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and education. Earlier this year, former House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor talked about how the Congress should move beyond gridlock by keeping in mind that over eight million children will be born over the next two years. He said that “The future of those 8,053,000 little boys and girls deserve to have the two years of this Congress focused on them and not the next election.”

Many children still need to have insurance

The bipartisan agreement would be a difficult task for the Democrats and the Republicans. Failure to work on a bipartisan basis in the House would result in the bill having to be pulled off the House floor because it would not have the votes to pass due to splits within the Republican party on it. And, even if it were to voted out of the House, the legislation stands no chance of being passed in the Senate or signed into law by President Obama. Fortunately, Republican representative Lamar Alexander and Democrat representative Patty Murray engaged in bipartisan negotiations to move an education package forward to modify the failed No Childe Left Behind law. Still the Congress is pressed by the public especially over 1500 organizations from across the country to extend CHIP for four years. Citizens have been reliant on this federal-state program. In tandem with the Medicaid, CHIP has successfully cut the nation’s uninsured rate in half and has improved the health and well-being of millions of children over the last 18 years.

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Sexual Abstinence and Celibacy

Practicing abstinence

Practicing abstinence

Choosing to practice abstinence is a very important decision especially in our children’s generation today where having sexual intercourse with someone is not uncommon anymore.

What is sexual abstinence?

Abstinence is not having sex. A person who decides to practice abstinence has chosen not to be sexually active.

How does abstinence work?

Abstinence is the simplest form and the most effective form of birth control. If two people do not have sex, the sperm cannot fertilize an egg and there is no possibility of pregnancy. Other forms of birth control depend on the barriers that prevent the sperm from reaching the egg (such as condoms or diaphragms) or they interfere with the menstrual cycle (such as birth control pills). Although many other methods can have high rates of success if used properly, they can also fail occasionally.

Protection against STDs

Abstinence protects people against STDs as well. Some STDs can be spread through oral-genital sex, anal sex, or even intimate skin-to-skin contact without actual penetration. Avoiding all types of intimate genital contact – called complete abstinence – is the only way to guarantee complete protection against STDs.

Because someone practicing complete abstinence does not have any type of intimate sexual contact, including oral sex, there is no risk of passing on an STD.

Who practices abstinence?

Not having sex may seem easy because it’s not doing anything. But peer pressure and things teens see on TV and in the movies can make the decision to practice abstinence more difficult. If it seems like everybody else is having sex, some teens may feel they have to do it, too, just to be accepted. Help your kids understand that kidding or pressure from friends, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, or even the media shouldn’t push them into something that’s not right for them.

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How To Cope Up With Your Child’s Early Pregnancy

Teenage Pregnancy

Dealing With Teenage Pregnancy

We can’t deny the fact that most teenagers nowadays are getting pregnant and they seem to grow more and more every year. And if ever such an event happens to your children, it is better to support them instead of scolding and telling them how much they have ruined their life. One good thing to look at it is that at least your child comes to you for advice instead of having a life-changing decision on her own such as abortion.

If your teen is about to become a mother or your son is about to father a child, it can be very overwhelming for all of you but how can you support your child through the challenges that lie ahead?

If you just found out that your teen is having a baby, you are probably experiencing a wide range of emotions, from shock and disappointment to grief and worry about the future that lies ahead for your child. Whatever feelings you are experiencing now, it is also important to take note that your child needs you more now than ever so it is best if you be on their side no matter what happens. Being able to communicate with each other – especially when emotions are running high –  is very essential. Teens who carry a baby to term have special health concerns, and your daughter will have a healthier pregnancy – emotionally and physically – if she knows that she does not have to go with it alone.

As a parent, what you can do is recognize your feeling and work through them so that you can accept and support her. It is very common for parents to feel disappointed and angry but you have to keep them for yourself for now or talk to someone about it because that is the least thing your child needs right now. You may have a strong flood of emotions to deal with, especially at first. But the reality of the upcoming baby means that you will have to get beyond your initial feelings for the sake of your daughter and your future grandchild.

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How To Do “The Talk” With Your Children

Raising your child's awareness about sexual intercourse

Raising your child’s awareness about sexual intercourse

Talking to your kids about sex can be very daunting, no matter how close you are with your children. But discussing such issues like abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and birth control can help lower down teens’ risk of an unintended pregnancy or contracting an STD.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports sex education that includes information about both abstinence and birth control. Research has shown that this information does not increase kids’ level of sexual activity, but actually promotes and increases the proper use of birth control methods among sexually active teenagers.

We all know that having “the talk” with your children is awkward enough but maybe the right time and enough knowledge of the subject will help you in doing so. How and when you discuss sex and birth control is already up to you as a parent. Providing the facts is vital, but it is also wise to tell your kids where you stand. You have to take note that by approaching these issues like any other health topics, not as something dirty or embarrassing, you increase the odds that your kids will feel comfortable coming to you with any questions and problems. As awkward as it may feel for you, remember that it is more embarrassing for your children. But you have to let them understand that what you are talking about is for their sake as well. It is also very important to answer the questions they ask honestly. If you do not know the answers, it is okay to say so, then find out and get back to your kids.

Lots of parent may find it very difficult to tackle with their children so it is greatly recommended that you can ask your family doctor to offer some helpful perspective about the matter.

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Factors That Contribute To Child Neglect And Abuse

Child Neglect

Child Maltreatment

There is no single known cause of child maltreatment. Nor is there any single description that captures all families in which children are victims of abuse and neglect. Child maltreatment occurs across socio-economic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. While no specific causes definitively have been identified that lead a parent or other caregiver to abuse or neglect a child, research has recognized a number of risk factors or attributes commonly associated with maltreatment. The risk factors associated with child maltreatment can be linked to many but the researches suggest that parent or caregiver factors are the most common.

Other research suggests that different factors may play varying roles accounting for different forms of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and physiological or emotional abuse).

Child Neglect

Child Neglect

Parent or Caregiver Factors

Parent or caregiver factors potentially contributing to maltreatment can be related to:

  • Personality characteristics and physiological well being

Some characteristics frequently identified in those who are physically abusive or neglectful include low self-esteem, an external locus of control, poor impulse control, depression, anxiety, and antisocial behavior. While some maltreating parents or caregivers experience behavioral and emotional difficulties, severe mental disorders are not common.

  • History of maltreatment

A parent’s childhood plays a very important role in how he or she may behave as a parent. Individuals with poor parental role models or those who did not have their own need met may find it very difficult to meet the needs of their children. Also, we cannot neglect that there has been a time in the past wherein some women are used in wars and to serve as comfort women. Such examples are US, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean comfort women, which are more likely to have poor parental skills due to the abuse and maltreatment they have encountered in the past.

  • Substance abuse

Parental substance abuse is reported to be a contributing factor for between one- and two-thirds of maltreated children in the child welfare system. Substance abuse and interfere with a parent’s mental functioning, judgement, inhibitions, and protective capacity.

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Helping Your Children Cope With Conflict

On children coping up with conflict

On children coping up with conflict

Help children act calm

  • Let them know that it takes more courage to walk away from a fight rather than to stay and fight.
  • Teach them that fights do not solve problems and instead make new ones.
  • Remind them that when they get mad but do not fight, they are the ones who are actually winning.

Sometimes, it is really difficult for your child to get along with other kids. Some kids often get into fights when they are angry, other get teased or tease other children a lot and encouraging other children to fight. This can make your child feel bad or get in trouble. Teach your child how to deal with anger and stay out of trouble.

Everyone gets mad

Anger does not usually last a long time, but it is a very strong feeling when it happens.

Children often gets mad when:

  • Their feelings are hurt or they cannot do what they want.
  • Others do not understand them or lie about them.
  • They feel left out or other do not act the way they want.

When children are mad, their bodies react:

  • Their hearts beat faster and their faces feel hot and sweaty.
  • It might be hard to breathe and they cannot think clearly.
  • They have a lot of energy and want action.

When children are angry, it is:

  • Good to put their feelings into words.
  • Not good to hit someone, break things, or say things that hurt.

Teach your child to always act calm

Acknowledge

  • Acknowledge angry feeling.
  • Notice changes in their bodies.

Calm down

  • Breathe deeply, count 1 to 10, or walk away.
  • Punch a pillow, run, or play music.

Think and talk

  • Think about the problem and different ways to fix it. If someone does not know what children are trying to say or do, they need to explain themselves.
  • Talk with someone about being mad and ways to fix the problem without fighting. If there is nobody to talk to right away, stop and think, “This is why I am mad and what I need to do is…”

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Tips On Toddler Parenting

A guide on toddler parenting

A guide on toddler parenting

We all know how important the first years are for getting your child off to a healthy start. We also understand that being a parent is an important and a really difficult job to do.

We talked to hundreds of parents to get their tips on parenting and summarized all these information to be able to help you to raise a healthy toddler.

How can I set a good example for my toddler?

Parenting is a very important job. When you set a good example, your toddler learns healthy habits. You have to keep in mind that you also need to start doing good things and eating healthy meals because he or she has a tendency to copy everything he or she sees in you. A simple change like adding extra fruits and vegetables to your meals can help a lot.

What can I do to make my parenting responsibilities more manageable?

Talking to other parents about the joys and difficulties of raising kids can help a lot. Remember that you are not the only parent thinking about how to encourage healthy eating to your toddler.

One way to help you and your toddler stay healthy and happy is to stick to a routine. When your child knows what to expect, she will be less likely to have a temper tantrum. Establishing routines for mealtime, playtime, and sleeping time will help you manage your responsibilities as a parent, too.

Talk to your child’s doctor.

You and your child’s pediatrician are partners in helping your child develop healthy habits. At your child’s next visit, be sure to talk about your successes, questions, and concern about your toddler.

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Consequences Of Child Maltreatment

Frightened Child

Frightened Child

There have been many cases of child maltreatment or child neglect all over the world and it is very terrifying to know how come some parents can do that to their own children.

There has been studies that show that parents who often does such things have problems of their own which in turn blames it on their children. Some experience depression due to traumatic stress or experiences, such as Korean comfort women or women who has experienced sexual abuse, and even those who have experienced the same in their past childhood.

Child maltreatment affects children’s health now and later, and costs our country as much as other high public health problems. Neglect, physical abuse, custodial interference and sexual abuse are types of child maltreatment that can lead to poor physical and mental health well into adulthood. The physical, psychological, behavioral and economic consequences of child maltreatment can be explained with these facts:

  • As of the year 2011, an estimated 681,000 children were confirmed by Child Protective Services as being victims of maltreatment.
  • A cross-sectional, US national telephone survey of the child maltreatment experiences 4.503 children and youth aged 1 month to 17 years in 2011 found that 13.8% experienced child maltreatment in the last year
  • The United States is spending approximately $125 Billion due to child abuse
  • Common effects of childhood maltreatment are:
    • Improper brain development
    • Impaired cognitive (learning ability) and socio-emotional (social and emotional skills)
    • Lower language development
    • Blindness, cerebral palsy from head trauma
Child Maltreatment and Neglect

Child Maltreatment and Neglect

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Information On Childhood Nutrition

A guide on child nutrition

A guide on child nutrition

There has been an ongoing epidemic present in today’s generation due to the numbers of unhealthy foods that our children always wants to eat, which is called childhood obesity. Nearly 1 in 3 children in America is overweight or obese. Yet we are on the focus of preventing our child from being overweight or obese, we still do not know what are the foods that can give enough nutrition in such a minimal amount.

Whether you have a toddler or a teen, what he eats is important to both his physical and mental development. Here are just some of the common types of food children needs in order to get proper nutrition – no matter what age they are in.

Infants

Breast milk, formula milk, or combination of the two, can provide practically every nutrient a baby needs for the first year of life. At about six months old, most babies are ready to start eating solid foods like iron-fortified infant cereal and strained fruits, vegetables, and pureed meats. Once you start adding foods to your child’s diet, do not go low-fat crazy. You do not want to restrict fats under the age of two because a healthy amount of fat is important for your babies’ brain and nerve development.

Toddlers and preschoolers

One area that parents should probably keep under watch is calcium. Calcium, the body’s building block, is needed to develop strong, healthy bones and teeth. Fiber is also an important focus. This is really the time where you start to let your children know the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, which all provide fiber. It is also best if you start encouraging them to eat such because it also prevents heart disease, aid digestion and prevents constipation.

Elementary School

At this point of age in children, they tend to quit eating meat because they are starting to learn and understand animals and where the food they eat comes. Do not worry about your child not getting enough protein because rice, beans, eggs, milk and peanut butter can also give protein. This is also the time where children tend to eat too much cake, candies, chips, and other snacks. The body needs carbs (sugars), fats, and sodium, but should be eaten in moderation.

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What You Need To Know About Immunization

Children's Immunization

Children’s Immunization

Ever since vaccination has been developed in the United States, a number of cases that were once common childhood illnesses like measles and diphtheria have dropped dramatically. Immunizations have protected millions of kids and saved thousands of lives from the said illnesses which are also potentially diseases.

In fact, certain diseases crop up so rarely now that parents often asks if their children still need to do vaccinations. The truth is, although these diseases are no longer common to children due to the presence of vaccines, the disease still exist in the world and we cannot totally wipe them out.

Vaccinations play a very vital role in keeping kids healthy and away from various kinds of diseases. Unfortunately, there is this ongoing spread of misinformation about vaccines that makes some parents to decide not to immunize their children which can put them and others at a greater risk for illness or maybe even death.

So what really do immunizations do?

Vaccines work by preparing the body to fight illness. Each immunization contains either a dead or a weakened germ that causes a particular disease. The body practices fighting the disease by making antibodies that recognize specific parts of the germ.

Does vaccine lower down your child’s immune system?

Your child’s immune system won’t be weaker by relying on vaccines. The immune system makes antibodies against a germ whether it encounters it naturally or is exposed to it through a vaccine.

Will the immunization give someone the very disease it’s supposed to prevent?

This is one of the most common concerns about vaccines. However, it is very impossible to get the disease from any vaccine made with dead (killed) bacteria or viruses or just part of the bacteria or virus. The risk of disease from vaccination is extremely small.

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