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Category: Emotional and Mental Disorders in Teenagers

5 steps to identify if your teen is getting into bad company

5 steps to identify if your teen is getting into bad company

Dr Paula Goel , Pediatrician & adolescent physician , Fayth Clinic

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Has your sweet adorable child suddenly metamorphosed into an individual who is constantly at loggerheads with you ? Is having a regular normal conversation difficult on a day to day basis ? And do you find complete change in behavior ?

Many of these could be just normal for this age group  (10-19 yrs ) , however if the symptoms last for more than 2 weeks at a stretch and is associated with disturbance in the family structure , it is time to probe deeper . There might be a solid reason to feel concerned about your child and his/her changed behaviour. A parent’s instincts about their child is right in most cases.

So , what are the red flag signs which should alert you if your teen is getting into bad company which may get in the way of his/her studies or pose a threat to his/her safety, then you must address the issue ASAP!

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1. Fall in school or college grades is the first sign .On many occasions, the child will even hide the marks , so tracking whether examination has occurred and what are the grades is necessary . If the child has performed poorly , it is imperative not to blame the child but provide a nurturing and caring environment which will allow the child to feel safe and not victimized . It is necessary for parents to understand that if the child has fallen into bad company , the child will tend to gravitate more because he/she gets the comfort which is somehow lacking at home ( strict parents ). There have been repeated complaints from school or college authorities regarding grades aand behaviour issues.

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2.Teens between ages of 13 – 18 years, tend to develop an impulsive attitude and a reckless behaviour, which may lead them into doing certain things that are not desirable. Peer pressure, the desire to “fit in” with the so called “cool” kids of their age, may lead a teenager to take some decisions that may affect their  academics, health and life in general. Smoking, drinking, drug use, indulging in unprotected sex, etccan be indulged in , hence parent need to  crucial to recognise certain signs like generalized fatigue , chronic cough , red glazed eyes , repeated respiratory infections , abdominal pain , chronic headaches
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  1. Your child who was once quite obedient and nice has suddenly started to back answer and is extremely  rude and mannerless. They become tightlipped or fight back , when asked questions about their friends and activities. Most of the time , the door to their room is closed and in extreme situations , you even have to take their permission to enter the room . They will not take any phone calls or work on the computer in front of you . Any questions asked will be met with resistance to answer .They  refuse to bring friends home to meet you, when you ask for it. They do it because they know that the company they hang out with is not an ideal one and their parents would never approve of it.

    4. Your teenager spends a lot of time outside and returns home only after you call him/her multiple times and he/she refuses to tell you about his/her whereabouts. There are times when they have not come back home and returned home in the morning . While going out , their dress sense has become unconventional and music and lifestyle has also become unconventional . You may find them sporting expensive gadgets or clothes and when asked , there will be no answer or expensive gadgets and clothes may also be hidden and not shown to parents.5

    5. Your teen refuses to be a part of family outings, dinners, etc, and never bothers coming out of the room. He/ she has no connection or refuses to maintain with other family members .Your teen constantly lies to you about everything like school timings, their whereabouts, grades, etc. Large amounts of pocket money may be required and if not given , may be associated with either fights or stealing money from you . At a later stage , stealing may also progress to stealing and selling mothers jewellery , household items .

These are some of the red flag signs to alert and warn you . It is best to identify and deal with the issue early . It is also imperative for parents and caretakers to hve an empathetic attitude and refrain from finger pointing and punishing .Counseling for both teenager and caretaker is necessary to deal with the issues .

Fayth Clinic ( NABH accredited & ISO 9001:2015 certified ) diagnostic centre & medical clinic.  Our integrated diagnostic and medical services with experience of senior medical consultants  provide patient friendly healthcare services . We provide 3 years digitalized medical reports which is accessible worldwide . Our doctors  and paramedical staff are easily accessible and empathetic to the patients needs.

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Book your consultation at  8879443733/7738630144  or send us an enquiry at services@faythclinic.com .

Get back to life ….Your life matters !

 

 

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Does the needle scare you from getting vaccinated

 

 

Does the needle scare you from getting vaccinated

Dr Paula Goel, Pediatrician & adolescent Physician , Fayth Clinic

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‘A needle makes my blood run cold’ . Does the needle scare you , so that you avoid doing blood tests or taking any injections which are required including vaccinations .

 

 

 

Many are deathly afraid of a needle that could save their lives. So scary, in fact, that studies show the needle averse individuals  routinely skip medical procedures — vaccines, tooth removal, blood tests — that they know are good for them. 16 % of adults avoid the injections  because of it

Here are some  tips to distract you :

immunization for students going abroad

  1. Distract yourself while you’re waiting.Bring along a game, book, music, or movie — something you’ll get completely caught up in so you’re not sitting in the waiting room thinking about the shot..
  2. Concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths.Breathe all the way down into your belly. Deep breathing can help people relax — and concentrating on something other than the shot can take your mind off it.
  3. Focus intently on something in the room.Find a picture, poster, or a sign on the wall. Concentrate on the details. Whatever it takes, keep focusing on something other than the shot until it’s over.
  4. Research shows that coughing once before and once during the shot can help some people feel less pain.
  5. Relax your arm.If you’re tense, it can make a shot hurt more — especially if you tense up the area where you’re getting the shot
  6. Don’t shame or humiliate. Acknowledge the fear as genuine and help your child work through it, even if it requires seeing a therapist
  7. Counseling for needle anxiety, is like any other phobias, through cognitive behavioral therapy Instead of avoiding pictures of needles, psychologists steadily expose patients to more and more images of needles. They progress to using fake but realistic needles to simulate the process of receiving an injection, even using real alcohol wipes.
  8. Experts and vaccine advocates say there are other, short-term solutions, including using pain-blocking gels, intentionally tensing and relaxing muscles repeatedly to induce relaxation, mindfulness, and flat-out distraction.
  9. Another technique is to press the thumb firmly into the child’s arm, producing a temporary soreness than can mask the sensation of the flu shot.
  10. If your child is truly needle-phobic, talk to your doctor about whether anti-anxiety medication is needed.
  11. If your child is simply anxious, try distractions: play games, ask questions, tell stories, sing songs, blow bubbles, show a movie or a cellphone video. Pre-schoolers can be caressed in a parent’s arms and comforted gently.
  12. Don’t lie to your child that the doctor’s visit won’t involve a shot or that that the shot will be absolutely painless. Dishonesty and trickery could exacerbate your child’s fear and distrust
  13. Sometimes people feel lightheaded or faint after getting a shot. If you feel funny, sit or lie down and rest for 15 minutes.
  14. Don’t hesitate to tell the doctor or nurse that you’re nervous before getting the shot. Medical professionals are used to people who are afraid of shots and they’ll be able to help you relax.

So , we hope some of these pointers will help you to deal with your fear of the needle and hopefully help you to get through medical procedures with less stress.

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Mail Us : enquiries@faythclinic.com
Book Your Appointment Here : faythclinic.com/book-appointment

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Parental guidelines for overweight & Obesity in children & eens

PARENTAL GUIDELINES FOR

OVERWEIGHT & OBESITY IN CHILDREN & TEENS

Dr Paula Goel, Pediatrician & Adolescent Physician, Director,

Fayth Clinic, Mumbai

 

Overweight and obesity are a significant public health concern even for children and teenagers.  The prevalence of obesity for children and adolescents aged 2-19 years is 18.5% and affects about 13.7 million children and adolescents in USA, whereas in India it is about 14%  and growing . With the COVID lockdown, the incidence has further increased.

Overweight is defined as increased weight for age, height and gender of child. Standard charts like IAP, WHO , NCHS, UNICEF ,CDC which have  weight and height for age and gender, are used to identify overweight and obesity in children and teenagers .  WHO has declared Obesity as a disease process in 1998, requiring treatment.

Overweight & obesity in children & teenagers is associated with multiple health problems.

 Physical health problems include early onset high blood pressure, pre diabetes high serum insulin levels , high lipids (total cholesterol and  triglycerides) , acne , hair loss , irregular menses , PCOS ,fungal infections , joint problems and respiratory infections.

Pre diabetes is increased, especially if family history is present.

 

Emotional health problems may arise as many children & teenagers are subjected to vicious attacks of peer pressure and bullying due to their weight. They may face isolation due to a lack of friends in the real world. As a result, loneliness creeps in and they spend long hours on media with more “cyber friends” than real friends, and may indulge in compensatory overeating as a “feel good factor”. Eventually they develop body image issues

All this would finally leads to low self esteem, lack of self confidence, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, aggression and/or passive aggressive behavior.

This can present with scholastic backwardness in form of poor academic achievement. Metabolic consequences of obesity and psychological impact are higher in girls.

 

Causes of overweight & obesity are multi-factorial, commonest being lack of physical activity, over eating (large portion size), eating high caloric diet, long hours spent on media (TV, Internet, social media, gaming), hormonal problems, medical problems like thyroid abnormalities, anemia and other genetic problems, and family history of obesity .

Whatever is the cause of overweight & obesity, it is essential that child be diagnosed, investigated and treated accordingly.

Parents must watch for certain physical signs and symptoms:

Lethargy , fatigue , joint pains , breathlessness , lack of interest and focus , easy crying ,  sudden bouts of anger and temper , prolonged periods of locking themselves up in room , asking meals to be served in room instead of having meals with family , self abuse in terms of over eating , physical hurt to self , wearing very loose clothes , not responding to spoken words .

 

Evaluation of overweight or obese child/teenager include :

  • Medical evaluation and diagnostic tests including blood evaluation , ECG , lung function tests , Ambulatory BP if required ( in teenager )
  • Nutritional assessment of eating habits in form of frequency of eating out , intake of calories , frequency and portion size of energy rich foods, intake of fruits and vegetables, number of meals /day and skipped meals if any .
  • Identify media addiction
  • Exercise protocols to be customized per child/teenager as per their requirement
  • Counseling including cognitive behavior counseling , dietary & lifestyle modification counseling , which will include child/teenager as well as parents ( entire family )

 

Parental Tips :

  • Spend adequate time with your child /teen . Be present for your child.
  • Communicate with your child
  • Meal times should be happy time with all family members.
  • Meals should not be eaten in front of TV or in bedroom.
  • Breakfast must be the most important meal of the day .
  • Small 5-6 meals / day should be taken which consists of 3 main meals and 2-3 small snacks which are balanced with right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and adequate amount of water .
  • Starchy food with high glycemic index should be reduced, increase intake of high fibred diet.
  • Force feeding should not be done. It is ok to leave some food on plate
  • Holiday times should be used for cleaning house or community activity which allows the child to have some form of activity instead of waking up late and sitting in front of TV
  • Child should accompany parents at times for food shopping and learn to read food labels before buying processed food
  • Dieting in children and adolescents is not healthy as this is the growth phase
  • Healthy eating behavioral practice should be encouraged for the whole family

 

Prevention forms the key and can be achieved by

  • Increase activity ,
  • Reduce time on TV, media .
  • Family activities like meal planning and physical activity together goes a long way to motivate children.
  • Parents should set an example and avoid junk food themselves.
  • Food should not be used as a motivator to motivate child to perform well on any activity
  • Parents should keep watch, as it does not take time for overweight children and teens to become obese .
  • Weight maintenance over a period of time (maybe 2 years) without weight gain, in the right zone for age will lead to balancing of weight for height and allow the body to grow without micronutrient deficiency.

 

 Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine Unit of Fayth Clinic  ensures that  Overweight & Obesity in Children and teenagers  are treated under the  National Guidelines laid down by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics which leads to healthy weight loss and prevents the complications of obesity.  This enables the child /teenager to adopt healthy lifestyle changes leading to healthy eating practices, coping skills, develop healthy body image and to deal with peer pressure in the most effective way.

Other Services include: vaccinations, Pediatric & adolescent OPD, treatment of PCOS, Acne, thyroid, short stature, poor academic performance, counseling etc

 

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