Monthly Archives: August 2009

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15% of five-year-olds have abnormally high depression

A Canadian study has found that 15% of five-year-olds suffer from abnormally high levels of depression and anxiety. The study, which ran for 5 years and tested over 1,700 children, also found that children with a difficult temperament at the age of five months were more likely to go on to develop abnormally high levels [...]

Calls to not ban technology from schools

Cyber-bullying expert Dr Barbara Spears from the University of South Australia has called for improved technology education and earlier targeting of mental health problems for children in Australian schools. Dr Spears emphasised the increasing problem of cyberbullying however highlighted that banning technology from schools will not solve the problem. She believes instead that children must [...]

The skinny on sexting

Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones, but can also via internet applications such as MSN, email or social networking sites. In Australia, if the images are of a young person under the age of 18 years, the person taking the pictures, sending them, or possessing [...]

Peer pressure is often overstated

Malcolm had been using ecstasy for over eight years when I spoke to him. He had first used the drug when he was twenty years old after associating with a group of clubbers for almost twelve months. He had observed his group of friends using ecstasy and had decided to try it. When he asked [...]

New campaign targetting teen drinking "hypocritical"

Alcohol education group DrinkWise launched their latest campaign "Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix" yesterday, which aims to reduce under-age drinking with a focus on educating teens to wait for as long as possible before drinking. The campaign immediately came under fire for the influence alcohol companies have over it when professor Simon Chapman of Sydney [...]

Government refuses to protect children from sexualised music videos

The Australian government has ignored a senate proposal for stricter advertising and classification laws for sexualised music videos and ads aimed at children. The proposal came from a senate committee investigating the sexualisation of children in the media, who concluded that "the inappropriate sexualisation of children in Australia is of increasing concern." On Friday the [...]

HIV and AIDS: how much do your children know?

A global study has found that almost half of young people know dangerously little about HIV and AIDS. The study found that over 80% of the respondents believed HIV and AIDS are the greatest challenge of our time, however over a third did not believe condoms would be effective at preventing the spread of HIV, [...]

70% of US children have insufficient vitamin D

A US study has found 70% of children have low levels of vitamin D, putting them at risk of developing weak bones, rickets and heart disease. The study examined survey data from over 6,000 children ranging from 1-21 years of age, and also found that 9% of the children surveyed suffered from a serious vitamin [...]

When should you talk to your kids about drugs?

Talk to your children about drugs as early and as often as possible. Make sure you speak to them about the range of drugs available, with an emphasis on those they are likely to come into contact with at their particular stage of development. For the very young, including primary school-aged children, most of the [...]

Online bullying survey to close on Friday

An online bullying survey for the NSW state government will close Friday after giving children the chance to tell of their bullying experiences. The survey is part of the state government’s inquiry in to bullying, focusing on collecting ideas and opinions from the youth. The responses will be used in a report which will later [...]