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Keeping Kids Safe
Child abuse is one of the most serious problems facing our society. Abused children suffer and, all too often, the damage lasts a lifetime. Even worse, it can extend to future generations as patterns of abuse and neglect repeat themselves.
Most children do get the love and care they need to grow up strong, safe and secure. But others need our help. That's why it's so important to know the signs of abuse and neglect, and to take the right action when we see them. This guide will tell you how to do that. It also offers advice on preventing abuse.
Whether they're our own children, our neighbours', or a stranger's, we all share responsibility for their well-being. We owe it to them to do whatever we can to keep childhood a safe place to be.

BC Government - Keep Kids Safe
Surpassing Our Survival
S.O.S Society
Sexual Violence Prevention and Counselling Services


Why Are Teenage Mothers Likely to Suffer with Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression, or postnatal depression, affects women after childbirth and the symptoms are similar to those listed above. Knowing how to cope with postpartum depression can be tricky, but women who have mental health issues during and after pregnancy can have children who are themselves at a greater risk of developing mental health problems. Teenage pregnancy is likely to be a crisis situation for your child as they suddenly realize their life is about to change so dramatically. Family conflicts, less socializing, lack of supportive networks, low self-esteem and a change in hormones, all contribute towards symptoms of depression in adolescent mothers. A teenager mother experiencing postpartum depression can be a serious issue as she might have trouble bonding with her new baby or even have thoughts of harming herself or the baby. Make sure you seek immediate help if you suspect your daughter of feeling this way.

How Is Childhood Depression Treated? 

For help with depression you should see your family physician and discuss with them a referral to a qualified mental health professional. Like most mental health conditions, childhood depression is treated with a mixture of prescribed medication and therapy, with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) proving to be highly successful.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Child?

Helping and supporting your child by giving them a healthy diet, encouraging exercise and outdoor play, praising their positive behaviour and acknowledging their strengths, will help them get back on track. Make sure they understand that depression is not a weakness, and that people of all ages, from all walks of life will suffer with the condition. Let them know talking about it is always a better option that telling no one at all.

Although a real and serious condition, childhood depression is treatable. With family support and the correct treatment, your child will be given the tools they need to overcome this disorder.

With sincere Thanks to Claire Holt for the above and the following article

HIV In Children - What To Do and How To Help

It is an unfortunate fact that an HIV positive mother can pass her condition on to her unborn child. This is usually because they were unaware of their HIV status when they got pregnant. Discovering that you have unwittingly given your child HIV can be a crushing blow. People feel a tremendous sense of guilt, and worry that their child will not be accepted by the world at large. Nonetheless, parents in such a situation should not lose heart. Most people have the best interests of children at heart - no matter that they have HIV. There is also plenty that can be done these days to limit the effects of HIV – especially when caught young. (Antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection in infants and children) Your child can go on to live a healthy and happy life, their infection notwithstanding. However, challenges will inevitably arise. Here is a short guide to dealing with some of them.

When To Tell Your Child

Many people are unsure when it is a good idea to tell their child that they are HIV positive. It is a tricky balance between unduly scaring a child who is too young to really understand, and shocking an older child who may then feel a sense of betrayal that you had not told them sooner of their condition. Many parents also keep their child’s HIV positive status from them in a bid to save them from being exposed to community prejudice. However, it must be remembered that children are not dumb innocents. It will not take them long to figure out that they are taking medication which other kids are not. Those kids who do take medication (asthmatics, diabetics and so on) will generally know why they take their own medication and may even ask your child what his or her medicine is for. It is perhaps best, therefore, to let the information out slowly, over time, in varying degrees depending upon how much you feel that they can take in. This ‘softly, slowly’ approach can be difficult to handle, but if done effectively it will both answer questions that younger children may have about their medication, and prevent the news from coming as a horrible shock to older children. It is notable that children aware of their condition from pre-pubescence and gradually being naturalized to its details and implications usually cope with the diagnosis quite well. Studies have shown that they have few to no psychological problems associated with the knowledge, and accept their condition with remarkable equanimity and strength of mind.

What To Tell Your Child

Children, when they are aware of their condition, will need information – they should not be kept in the dark about the nature and implications of their condition. Furthermore, you will probably have to reiterate this information several times, or even modify it should treatment options and so forth change. Children are surprisingly resilient, so you would be amazed at how much negative information they can take in with a courage and strength that would fail an adult. However, it is best to be as positive as possible nonetheless. Focus on the improvements that have occurred in treatment – HIV positive people, with the right treatment consistently given, can now expect to live just as long as those who are HIV negative, and science is making positive advances towards even better treatment all the time. While the condition should not be downplayed – to do so would be in many ways to insult the intelligence of the child, and children respect adults who deal honestly with them – emphasizing these positives may take the sting out of what you have to tell them. Also make sure that you listen and respond (to the best of your abilities) to any queries they may have. They will inevitably have questions. If there are any which you cannot answer, show the child that you are making an effort by writing them down and promising to consult a doctor upon the matter when next you have an appointment.

What To Tell Others

Many people are very worried about how their HIV positive child will be able to interact with their peers and the HIV-negative world. They do not want their child to experience stigma or rejection purely because of their condition, and thus hide their child’s HIV status. This is a perfectly understandable stance to take, and you do not have to tell anyone about your child’s HIV if you do not want to – not even their school. However, telling others can have surprising benefits. For one thing, much of the stigma that used to surround the condition has been eradicated, so telling teachers and other people may in fact open up more love and support for your child, rather than the opposite. For another, it is likely that your child will need to have clinic visits and so on, meaning that questions may arise regarding their absences from school, play-dates and so on. Disclosing your child’s HIV status can help to alleviate any such queries. You might also find that freely informing teachers and other personages whom your child respects of the HIV can have psychological benefits for your child. Your child should never be made to feel ashamed of their condition – and keeping it hidden may reinforce the idea that they have something shameful and are therefore themselves inherently shameful – which is obviously extremely bad for them psychologically. However, some parents and caregivers have found that it is better all round to keep the knowledge of your child’s HIV to a minimum number of people. It all depends upon what you think is best. After all, you know your child and your child’s lifestyle better than most, so you will know which course of action is most appropriate.

Interacting With Others

There is no need to be concerned about your child transmitting HIV to another child. HIV can absolutely not be transmitted through hugs, sharing drinking fountains, kisses, using the same toilet as an infected person, eating in the same canteen, holding hands, or contact with any bodily fluids (including sweat, phlegm, tears, and urine) other than blood. It is so rare as to be almost impossible for someone to contract HIV simply from living and playing in close proximity with someone who has HIV. Having said this, however, it may be wise to let young children know that they should be careful if they cut themselves not to let their blood get near anyone else who has a cut. As they get older, be sure to stress the importance of safe sex, and possibly provide condoms – just in case!

Have Hope For The Future

HIV has such a terrifying reputation in this day and age that discovering your child has HIV can induce total panic and despair. However, there is really no need to worry. As long as your child is taking their medication and doing their best to stay healthy, there is no reason why they should not enjoy a long, quality-filled life just like their peers. The most important thing is to be on hand to offer love and support – the medication will keep your child’s body alive, and thriving, but the unconditional love you offer will help them to come to terms with their condition and live as full a life as they possibly can.

It is possible to save a user of drugs from a life of horror if detected early. There are not enough doctors in this world to examine each and every possible user, but there are enough parents.

This chart is prepared to alert parents to the various symptoms that drugs produce . Observe your children and note unusual changes in normal behavior.

IF YOU SUSPECT your child is using drugs consult your family physician. If you have information as to where it is being obtained or simply wish to discuss the problem, call your local police service.

Seven symptoms common to all drug users

1.Rapid disappearance of clothing and personal belongings from the home.

2.Frequenting hangouts and buildings where unusual activity takes place.

3.Loitering in hallways or in areas frequented by addicts.

4.Spending unusual amounts of time at home by themselves or away from home

5.Inability to hold a job or stay in school.

6.Rejection of old friends; taking up with strange companions.

7.Using jargon such as pot, tea, grass, speed, bennies, sticks, acid, bummer, LSD, STP, downs and goof balls.

Drug Used

Physical Symptoms & Behavior Pattern

Look for 


Glue Sniffing
Airplane  Glue, plastic cement, paint thinners, ether, nail polish remover, gasoline, lighter fluid.

Enlarged eye pupils, dreamy or blank stare, double vision, irritations around nose & mouth, sneezing, coughing, violence, anger, drowsiness, drunk appearance ,chest pains, loss of weight, unconsciousness, oral secretions .

Glue tubes, glue smears, paper or plastic bags, handkerchiefs, stained cloth, various volatile products, lighter fluid tins. An extremely strong smell on the breath of the substance inhaled.

Bizarre mental effects, anti-social acts, dangerous acts due to false sense of safety , possible damage to brain, heart , lung , kidney, liver, physical and mental suffering , death from choking or suffocation.

Opium, morphine ,heroine, codeine.

Pinpoint eye pupils, watery eyes, running nose, chills, sweating, loss of appetite and weight , drowsiness, stupor, dull mental attitude, desire for sweets or fruit.

Hypodermic needles, eye droppers, needle marks on arms, legs, abdomen, burnt bottle caps or spoons, small empty capsules, empty cough medicine bottles.

Physical deterioration, anti-social atitudes, physical dependence, painful withdrawal symptoms, death from overdose.

Marihuana, pot , grass, tea, weed, hashish, hash, T.H.C.

Reddening of the eyes, dry mouth and throat, coughing spells, hallucinations, exaggerated sensory perceptions, disturbance of time and distance judgment, talkative, laughter, sleepiness, day dreaming, excessive appetite.

Crushed leaves, greenish brown plant material, small round seeds, burning of incense, small light to dark brown squares, hookah pipes, odor of burnt leaves, roll your own cigarettes, butt holders, squares of silver paper, plastic baggies, etc..

May hinder physical and mental functions, affects judgment, introduces user to persons using and selling more dangerous drugs, interferes with pain threshold, chronic use may affect mind and organs.