Published On: Wed, Sep 21st, 2016

Kids & Health: Parents Reveal Their Biggest Concerns

For the tenth year running, C.S. Mott has revealed their list of the biggest worries parents have about children’s health. We thought we would take a look at the common concerns – and seek out some solutions. Let’s get started right away.

Parent

Bullying

Despite increased media attention – or maybe because of it – bullying comes in as parents number one concern for their kids. It’s not much of a surprise it ranks so high, or that almost two out of three parents are so concerned. Somewhere in the region of 160,000 students skip school because of bullying. And the impact can be enormous on their health. Bullying is often the cause of psychological issues which can stay with a child for many years. Suicidal thoughts are not uncommon, and anxiety disorders and depression can arise in later life. For parents, one thing is vital. Always encourage open lines of communication and if you suspect bullying, ask them how they want to resolve it. Doing this will help them retain some control over the situation, and also make it clear it is not their fault.

Obesity

Weight issues are a big concern for the future of the country, so it’s no surprise obesity ranks high on the list. Even though rates of obesity are declining among preschoolers, almost one in five kids between 2-19 are obese. Carrying that extra weight opens up a lot more potential for more severe health issues. Heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer and depression are all prevalent in overweight people. It’s vital for parents to talk to their children about the importance of a healthy diet. Teaching them how to cook their own meals is another beneficial activity.

Drug abuse

Over one in two parents state that substance abuse is one of their biggest fears for their children. It’s particularly true for teens, who are starting to experiment with new things and take more risks. However, the results can be tragic. Not only can some drugs have an enormous impact on the health of teenagers, but they can also restrict their opportunities in life. A drug arrest can lead to a conviction, which could stay on their record for many years. If your child is caught with drugs, there are two things you must do. The first is to find a good criminal attorney who can reduce the impact of any conviction on your child’s future life. The second is to seek out a good drug counsellor or facility to help your child deal with their problems.

Internet safety

The Internet can be a fantastic place for your children to learn. But it’s also dangerous for those youngsters that don’t quite understand the way the online world can work. There many predators out there who are looking to draw in young people. But many problems can arise from your children’s peers. Online bullying, publication of private pictures and a lot more besides can all have an adverse impact on your kid’s life. Make sure you are making your children aware of the dangers of communicating with people they don’t know online. And also ensure that they understand that sending a fun picture to a boyfriend or girlfriend could end up in public view.

Stress

You might think that stress only affects adults – but you would be wrong. In fact, according to a recent report, Your kids are likely to be more stressed than the average adult. That’s an astonishing statistic – and a worrying one. Stress can lead to a whole variety of issues. It can include sleep disorders, bad eating habits and difficulty in concentrating at school. Try to understand the pressures your child faces at school – exams and testing can often be the root causes.

Abuse and neglect

It’s a sad fact that abuse and neglect are some of the biggest concerns of parents all over the United States. And it’s easy to see why. Hundreds of children die from abuse or neglect over the course of a decade or so – and all in plain view of child protection authorities. Beatings, starvation and sexual abuse are all common within these figures. Of course, there isn’t much that individuals can do to stop these incidents. But if you suspect that a child is being abused, always call the local child authorities.

C.S. Mott’s report suggests other common concerns. Sexting, violence, suicide and depression are all present in parent’s top health issues. Many thousands of kids experience these issues in any one year – so it’s vital for parents to be mindful.