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‘61% parents use social media to keep tab on kids’

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New York, March 20: While social media has been associated with a negative impact on children, 61 per cent parents feel that the online medium has enabled them to keep a track of “tweens”, according to a survey. “Tweens” is a term given to children between the early elementary grades and those entering teenage.

55 per cent of parents would read their tween’s texts or social media pages to learn if their tween was invited to a boy-girl party at the home of an unfamiliar family.

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Also, 39 per cent of parents reported tracking their tween’s location on their cell phone during the party.

Mothers were more likely, than fathers, to say they would use technology to monitor their tweens, according to a report from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“The tween stage brings new challenges for parents as they often must balance their child’s desire for more freedom and independence with supervision. It’s not an easy balancing act,” said Sarah Clark, poll co-director.

“In some families, reading text messages or social media posts might be seen as ‘spying.’ But in others, parents discuss rules including sharing passwords,” said Clark.

“Establishing family rules around the use of social media, and discussing the reasons for those rules, is an important part of parenting tweens,” Clark said, in a statement released by the varsity.

However, 91 per cent still wanted to get the information about their child via the traditional way, which includes talking with the parents of their kids’ classmates.

About one in four parents reported being very concerned about their tweens experimenting with sexual activity, marijuana or other drugs, beer or liquor, and guns or other weapons.

Importantly, two-thirds of the parents agreed that tweens need some freedom to make mistakes, and balancing freedom with supervision.

“Parents must balance their responsibility to help their tween learn to be responsible and make good decisions while ensuring their tween’s safety,” Clarks said.

IANS

Health

Natural ways to boost immunity in children

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New Delhi, Jan 21: It is natural for parents to protect their children from any harm, including the endless array of germs they are exposed to every day.

As children grow up, they are continuously exposed to various germs, especially in places such as daycare centres and preschool. Children with low immunity are highly susceptible to various types of infections. The high incidence of infections has led to an increased and inappropriate use of antibiotics, which has further resulted in antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance, a widespread problem, takes places when microbes build resistance against the medications intended to kill them due to overuse. It is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. The best way to tackle this is to build a strong immunity, which naturally protects your child from infections. Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head – Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares a few tips that can help boost your child’s immunity.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet that comprises all fundamental components like proteins, minerals, vitamins, micronutrients and unsaturated fats in optimum quantity, helps build the immunity required to fight against various infections or diseases in children. Citrus fruits, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beans, strawberry, yogurt, garlic, and ginger help build immunity with their immunity-boosting properties.

Adequate Sleep

Sleep deprivation suppresses the functionality of the immune system, which makes children susceptible to infections. Adequate sleep is an absolute necessity to rejuvenate the body. Newborns need up to 18 hours of sleep a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours of sleep.

Hygiene

Maintaining hand hygiene before and after each meal, after playtime, handling pets, blowing the nose, using the restroom and arriving home from daycare helps prevent infections in children.

Herbal Solutions

Despite taking proper care, children’s immunity may be affected. Consumption of herbal dietary supplements like Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and Guggulu (Balsamodendron mukul) can help children stay healthier as they help build immunity.

“Naturally obtained supplements strengthen the immune system. Herbs like Guduchi, Yashti Madhu, and Guggulu are natural sources of antioxidants. The antiviral property of Yashtimadhu also helps manage asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough. The anti-inflammatory property of Guggulu helps reduce inflammation,” Dr. Kumawat added.

“Naturally obtained supplements strengthen the immune system. Herbs like Guduchi, Yashti Madhu, and Guggulu are natural sources of antioxidants. The antiviral property of Yashtimadhu also helps manage asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough. The anti-inflammatory property of Guggulu helps reduce inflammation,” Dr. Kumawat added.

A combination of herbs may be a safe and effective adjuvant to antimicrobials in the management of recurrent infections. When co-prescribed with antibiotics, herbs may
have a role in faster recovery, reduces the duration and cost of therapy, besides preventing reinfections.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Teasing your partner playfully can make lasting relationship

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Are you always in a mood to tease your better half? Then there is good news. A new study suggests that couples who poke fun at each other, indicating humour, are more likely to stay together.

The study showed that inside jokes are particularly important because they affirm ones relationship through laughter, the Daily Mail reported.

However, couples who share mean-spirited jokes with nasty jibes are unlikely to last, which indicates a problem in the relationship.

“Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security,” said Jeffrey Hall, Associate Professor from the University of Kansas in the US.

“Particularly shared laughter is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates,” Hall added.

The team examined more than 150,000 participants to determine how important humour is in a romantic relationship.

The results, published in the journal Personal Relationships, suggest that couples who create humour together — including inside jokes — are more likely to last.

But, this does not mean that people who are funny or can make a joke out of anything would be more lucky in love.

“If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter,” Hall was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

However, couples should not go too far, Hall warned.

Importantly, having an aggressive sense of humour is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if this style of humour is used in the relationship, the study noted.

IANS

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Health

Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk

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If you have been hit by the winter cold and are thinking about taking medicines that relieve your aches, pains and congestion, be careful. Those may also put your heart at risk, the American Heart Association has warned.

A study has showed that both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, “which dries you up”, said Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Univerity’s Ciccarone Center in Baltimore.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalised for heart attacks.

Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

People who are sick should use both classes of medications — decongestants and NSAIDs — judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

In addition, decongestants should not be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a healthcare provider, DePalma said.

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted.

IANS

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