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For Parents and Carers

If you are a Kinship Carer, these skills and resources may be useful.


Don’t assume that you’ve ‘had the talk’: three-quarters of parents of 11-16 year olds thought they had had a conversation about drugs with their child, but less than half as many (36%) 11-17 year olds said they remembered such a conversation.
We have split the advice into age groups.
7-10 years 9-12 years 11-14 years 13-17 years Kinship Care

Good Reasons Not to Drink
. Stay away from scare tactics. Most young teens are aware that many people drink without problems, so it is important to discuss the consequences of alcohol without overstating the case. Some good reasons why teens should not drink:

You want your child to avoid alcohol. Clearly state your own expectations about your child’s drinking. Your values and attitudes count with your child, even though he or she may not always show it.
To maintain self-respect. Teens say the best way to persuade them to avoid alcohol is to appeal to their self-respect—let them know that they are too smart and have too much going for them to need the crutch of alcohol. Teens also are likely to pay attention to examples of how alcohol might lead to embarrassing situations or events—things that might damage their self-respect or alter important relationships.
Better exam results. Drinking once or twice a week has been associated with scores around 20 points lower at GCSE (equivalent to 3 grades, or the difference between an A and an D in one subject); and drinking on most days may mean 80 points lower scores (equivalent to 13 grades) (National Centre for Social Research 2010).

You have a family history of alcoholism. If one or more members of your family has suffered from alcoholism, your child may be somewhat more vulnerable to developing a drinking problem.
Alcohol affects young people differently to adults. Drinking while the brain is still maturing may lead to long-lasting intellectual effects and may even increase the likelihood of developing alcohol dependence later in life.

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Foods that keep you cool in summer

Gear up for the rise in mercury level. Eat the right foods that will keep you hydrated and healthy.

It’s that time of the year when you start reaching for diet sodas, ice cubes and the remote to the air conditioner. But the quick relief can lead rather quickly to the opposite of what you intended. Anything lower than your actual body temperature produces a cooling effect only initially. Then, after about 20 minutes, the opposite happens.
Drinking very cold liquids may lead to constriction of the blood vessels and decrease heat loss from the body, which is bad when trying to cool down.

So stock up that refrigerator and kitchen with the right foods, not just to keep the temperature from raging but also to look and smell nice.

Smell right

Body odour is caused by the deficiency of zinc in our diet. Odorous sweat can be effectively avoided by consuming foods rich in zinc. Simple measures, such as adding wheat bran to your oats breakfast consumed with cold milk, can help. Shell fish, almonds, peanuts, dried watermelon seeds and sprouts are also rich sources of zinc.

Stay cool

Nutritionist Jyoti Lalwani highly recommends eating curd, drinking coconut water and sugarcane juice during summers. Intestinal infections such as cholera, typhoid, amoebiasis find it easy to surface during a warm climate. Eating curd helps increase the friendly bacteria in the intestines. These bacteria promote digestion and boost immunity. Due to sweating, water and many essential minerals are lost from the body which makes you feel tired and sluggish. Coconut water is packed with simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals that replenish hydration levels. Research suggest that coconut water also has anti-ageing and anticancer properties. Sugar cane juice comes in handy for those who exercise or work out during summers. Containing only natural sugars, it not only cools the body but also energises with a high quantity of carbohydrates and proteins. The nutrients found in sugarcane are beneficial for the functioning of the kidneys, heart and the brain.

Nutritionist Naini Setalvad suggests eating raw mango to prevent sunstrokes and summer typhoid. “Have raw mango in any form, whether sliced and tossed in bhel or as a drink called ‘panha’,” she says. It contains natural sugar and prevents constipation. You can also consume musk melon and water melon which comprises of 90 per cent water. Lalwani adds cucumbers, bell peppers and ice-berg lettuce to the list of naturally watery food items. “These prevent urine from being acidic in the summer,” she says. Buttermilk and lemon juice are couple of other drinks that help cool the body and up immunity.

The dangers of drinking cola

Cola drinks could damage young bones

Does your child love to drink cola? If so, and you’re about to do the weekly grocery shop you might want to consider that new research indicates a link between high consumption of soda with lower bone mass in kids.

Experts reckon the connection is down to several factors. First and foremost, kids who quench their thirst with cola may well not be drinking enough milk or calcium-fortified fruit juices. Add that to the fact that caffeine, which is present in cola drinks, is already linked to a higher risk of osteoporosis and you have a double whammy. Plus, along with caffeine, cola contains phosphoric acid, which can cause an imbalance in the body. Why? Your child’s body needs calcium to neutralize the acid and if there isn’t enough of it in her diet, her body will take it from her bones to restore the balance.

Low levels of calcium are associated with osteoporosis in later years – and it can thin the bones so much that they’re at risk of fracture. Research carried out at Tufts University and recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that cola consumption by women was associated with lower bone mineral density at three hip sites, regardless of age, menopause, total calcium and vitamin D intake. The women reported drinking an average of five carbonated drinks a week, four of which were colas.

Weaning your child off cola and on to calcium-rich drinks is the key to healthy bones in adulthood – ensuring she gets enough weight-bearing exercise will also help conserve her bone density.

Cure For Cancer? New Drug Which Decimates Tumors Approved For Human Testing


Imagine a drug which can kill tumors of any kind and you have what researchers are only steps away from knowing. It is the antibody drug, CD47, which has been found to have more impact than previously thought against cancers of the blood. Recently, researchers and scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California have performed a series of tests on mice with successful results. The data from these tests helped scientists to determine whether to move forward with new human trials.

Dr. Irving Weissman, Stanford professor of Pathology and the lead study author is hopeful that there is enough data from the mice trials. Weissman told Science Now that, “what we’ve shown is that isn’t just important on leukemias and lymphomas. It’s on every single human primary tumor that we tested.” It was found that cancer cells always ended up having higher levels of CD47 than the healthy cells. The question then is whether a tumor can predict the odds of survival for patients.

Research was conducted on mice with seven different types of cancer tumors: Breast, ovary, colon, liver, brain, prostrate, and bladder. The findings were then published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Weissman and his team are preparing for phase I human trials, which will be funded by a four year, $20 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

While the research and findings may be substantial evidence to move forward with human trials, there are some who warn against jumping to conclusions in findings. As Science Now reported, cancer researcher Tyler Jacks of the MIT notes that while the study is promising, more research should still be conducted to see whether humans will react in the same way. Jacks said that “It’s possible that a real tumor has additional immune suppressing effects.” Another question Jacks poses is how the CD47 antibodies would complement existing treatments. Trials will move forward, however with data that has been found and analyzed.

Weissman noted, “We have enough data already … that I can say I’m confident that this will move to phase I human trials.”

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