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This week on MD for Moms, I’ll be interviewing opens in a new window pediatrician, child safety expert, speaker and advocate Dr. Free N. Hess of Pedimom.com. Check out part one of this series with Dr. Hess where we explored online bullying, when is a ‘safe’ age to get your child a smart phone, dangers lurking on YouTube Kids and much more.
On this week’s show, Dr. Hess will explain online grooming of children on various live streaming apps and social media platforms like Snapchat, and the concept of sextortion of children. We will also delve into sexting and the potential consequences that arise from such actions even when occurring between teens. We will review ways to effectively prepare our kids to avoid such scenarios and to get themselves safely out if someone approaches them.
Additionally, social media has allowed for so-called ‘self-harm’ secret societies that promote eating disordered behavior, cutting and other dangerous actions. Even if a child is not entrenched in these groups, social media sites establish a fake sense of perfection that lead to unattainable goals. This is causing an increase in kids with poor self esteem, anxiety, depression and a horrifying increase rate of suicide. We will discuss ways to protect our kids from the onslaught of social medial and protect them from an early age through the teen years and beyond.
Learn more about my guest, Dr Free N. Hess:
I am a board-certified Pediatrician working in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, a child safety expert, and a Mother whose life mission is to do everything I can to keep children as safe as possible in this ever-changing, and sometimes scary world. I have worked in both inner city and rural Pediatric Emergency Departments for the past decade, and although I love taking care of kiddos in the ER, I’d prefer to help parents keep their children OUT of my department!
So much of what I see in the ER is preventable and can be avoided with adequate information and education. The problem is that there are so many things that can go wrong, and so many things to think about, that it is simply impossible for every parent to know every danger that their child may face, let alone know how to prevent it.
So what’s the solution?
How do we as parents amass all the information we need to keep our kids safe with all the current dangers out there?
We do it TOGETHER.
You know that old saying, “It takes a village”? Well, it does! It takes a village to keep our kids safe.
- It takes professionals to educate us about the risks and dangers that our children face every day.
- It takes other parents, their experiences, and their lessons learned to educate us about the dangers that we might not have thought about.
- It takes children themselves to educate us about what they experience during their childhood and how they think, feel, and respond to those experiences.
It takes all of us. It takes a village and I intend for this site to become that village.
Together we can keep our kids safe by educating and empowering EACH OTHER.
Let’s start the conversation!
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