Monday, September 24, 2012

Argument For Legislation Limiting Children's Exposure to Second Hand Smoke

Children and infants are especially susceptible to the effects of second hand cigarette smoke. This is because young children their lung capacity as related to their body weight is larger than that of an adult, their immune system is not as developed as that of an adult, and they are less likely to complain and/or remove themselves from the environment that causes the exposure. In other words, children are biologically geared to inhale more of the toxins present in cigarette smoke than their adult counterparts. Second hand smoke exposes children to a number of carcinogens (cancer causing substances), and when the environment is such that air flow is limited, such as inside a home or vehicle, those carcinogens are especially concentrated. There are more than four thousand substances present in tobacco smoke, more than forty of which are known carcinogens. These substances include formaldehyde, arsenic, vinyl chloride, lead, cadmium and nickel, as well as a host of other chemicals that are completely unpronounceable.
The effects of environmental tobacco smoke range from the relatively benign to serious health consequences. The irony of tobacco smoke is that the chemicals that are present in second hand smoke are often more concentrated than the smoke that a smoker takes into his or her lungs. Among the effects that second hand smoke has on children are increases in the frequency of upper and lower respiratory tract infections, an increase in the severity or frequency of existing asthma episodes and/or symptoms, a reduction in the flow of oxygen to tissues and reduced lung function in general, and an increase of fluid in the middle ear. Second hand smoke has also been associated with frequent ear infections, throat infections, an increase in the frequency and severity of colds and sore throats, poor or slowed growth, childhood cancers, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Second hand smoke is thought to be responsible for more than 10% of all cases of childhood asthma, more than 16% of all physician office visits for cough and more than 20% of all lung infections in children under the age of five. Smoking is also responsible for a number of children's deaths from cigarette-related home fire.
There is little doubt that adults are aware of the overall dangers of cigarette smoke. Less than 10% of individuals believe that second hand smoke presents no danger whatsoever to the non-smoker. However, many people are not aware of how the effects of second hand smoke are compounded in children. Because of the increased danger of tobacco smoke, several states are considering legislation that would ban smoking around children under a certain age (generally fifteen) in any enclosed area, especially a vehicle.
Arguably, smoking is not against the law for any individual over the age of eighteen. Therefore, many adults do not consider their smoking as anything other than a legal right. Any attempts to limit that right are generally met with significant resistance and protest. However, as cigarette smoke is so dangerous to others, especially children, it can be argued that the only way to prevent harmful effects to non-smokers is to effect legislation that limits the rights of smokers. To date, most states have initiated some form of indoor smoking bans. These bans have been met with protest and resistance from smokers and non-smokers alike. The smokers protest that they have a legal right to smoke and the non-smokers protest that the government is limiting the rights of the smoker, and that those limitations may lead to the limitation of other rights. Non-smokers that are in favor of legislation that limits the rights of smokers argue that the legislation would not deny the right of a smoker to smoke, but would instead enforce the right of the non-smoker to remain healthy. Much like the use of alcohol, the use of cigarettes would, under the enactment of such legislation, be legal only in the sense that such use would not violate the rights of others. As alcohol is legal only in as much as it does not endanger others, so would the use of tobacco be legal only in as much as it does not endanger others.
To date, Arkansas, Louisiana, Washington, Vermont, and Texas have already initiated some form of legislation that bans smoking around young children. Many states are ordering that children involved in custody disputes and/or divorce cases are provided with a smoke free environment. However, these cases are often the result of one parent complaining about the other parent's smoking around the children. Additionally, as the courts are intervening in a child's home environment, there the legal system must either stop requiring a smoking ban in such cases or that it must apply the ban uniformly across every household, not merely the ones involved in civil litigation. Children's rights groups are calling the exposure of young children to second hand smoke a form of child abuse and are rallying for legislation that limits the smoking of any individual around children. In Arkansas, any individual who is caught violating the ban against exposing children to second hand smoke can be fined $25, but can avoid the fine if they show proof of enrollment in a stop smoking program.
It can be argued that legislation that bans smoking around children, in cars, homes, or other enclosed areas, is a position that places the health of children above the bad habits of the adults that care for them and above the civil liberties of those adults. Regardless of their oppositions, adults must realize that current research overwhelmingly indicates that the effects of second hand smoke on children are predominantly negative and that these effects must be curbed in any way possible and as quickly as possible. With many states already employing statewide smoking bans that protect all non-smokers from the effects of tobacco smoke, it must be realized that states cannot enact such legislation without also considering what they can do to protect children. Smokers have been presented with the knowledge that second hand smoke is harmful to others for many years, yet parents and other caregivers continue to smoke around their young charges. Obviously, something other than educating smokers to the harmful effects must be done to prevent smoking around children.
It can be argued that such a ban would be inherently difficult to enforce. It has also been argued that seat belt laws and drunken driving laws would be difficult to enforce, yet fewer people drink and drive and more people buckle up on the nation's highways. However true the argument regarding enforcement is, remember it is often not the legal system itself that prevents individuals from violating ordinances such as smoking bans, drunken driving laws, and seat belt laws, but the fear of the legal repercussions of violating the laws. Additionally, many individuals have found that the enactment of smoking bans have given them the incentive they needed to stop smoking themselves, just as states' enactment of new seat belt regulations spurred more individuals to employ the use of their seat belts, regardless of their initial resentment of the legislation. For some people, the right to harm themselves just isn't worth the fight in the long run.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tips For Teaching Your Child Spanish

1. Sing a Song
Songs are one of the easiest ways to learn a new language. There are many Spanish songs available which are fun, upbeat, and educational. By singing, your child is encouraged to practice the words in a non-threatening environment. Many Spanish songs "canciones de cuna" also have dances which encourage the child to reach, touch, or jump. These songs use movement to teach your child new words. By adding physical objects such as toys you can easily illustrate the objects or actions that are sung. In this way songs can stimulate many of your child's senses in a fun, relaxed environment which encourages learning.
For toddlers and babies, singing in a higher pitched, softer voice has been shown to peak interest, relax and comfort while introducing spoken language. Don't be shy if you are not a great singer, your soft voice will soothe your child and enable them to focus on your words.
2. The "Abuelita" Factor
If you have a Grandparent that speaks Spanish this is the perfect time to get "Abuelita" involved in your child's learning. Have "Abuelita" speak to your child only in Spanish; she will likely cherish the opportunity to pass on the Spanish language and culture to future generations. Having a loved one or parent speak in only Spanish creates a clear distinction in your child's mind as to what words are being said in English and what words are being said in Spanish.
3. Let's get Comfortable
Speak to your child in Spanish for everyday communication like vamos a comer (let's eat) or abre la puerta (open the door) this increases their comfort level in everyday communication and creates an informal learning environment where learning comes naturally. Using real world situations reaffirms the words they've previously learned.
4. Reading is Fun
If you are comfortable reading to your child in Spanish, read from a storybook each night. At the end of the story ask questions to ensure your child is grasping the concepts. If you are not comfortable with reading aloud, use audio books that can be borrowed from your local library to ensure your child is learning. Get your child involved in their learning by allowing them to choose which book they want to read next.
5. Use Movement
It is no secret that kids like to be active. In helping kids to learn Spanish we can use this to our advantage. For example, associating the act of jumping with the word "brinca" is a quick way to build your child's comfort level with Spanish. Acting out the word is a quick and easy way to get your child involved in Spanish.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Get College Grants If You Are a Single Mother

Even though the economy is not good at this time but it doesn't mean that it'll be like this forever. It's going to improve and as a single mother you can improve your chances to get a good job by obtaining a college degree that'll help you in long run.
Remember, being a single parent is not an easy job. It'll test your patience, determination and your luck in this messy economy. It's not easy but it can be done.
How can you do this? Here are simple ideas and tips that'll help you.
1. Apply for scholarship at colleges - If you are planning to get back into the college and earn a degree that'll help you then it's pretty easy to apply. Federal government provides everything these days to help single mothers to go back to college and earn and improve their living by getting the right education.
2. How to apply for scholarship with federal government?
You have to find a licensed institution which provides a training course and apply. You need to apply and fill the federal loan application to obtain help after you've submitted your college application.
This money will go towards your tuition, books and other college related expense. Remember, only those people who cannot afford their education can actually get this scholarship.
Other random yet important tips.
3. Organization - Often colleges or govt bodies requires you to submit application in an order. So you have to take care of the complete forms and other papers that are required to be sent as an application.
Always read the forms and prospectus in complete detail. It'd do no good, if your application got rejected because you missed a small detail.
4. Send your application with registered mail service - Often government bodies do not send any confirmation of the receipt of your application. So it's better for your mental health to send them through a registered mail. At least you'd be sure that it reached into right hands.

Monday, September 3, 2012

When Chemistry Sets Are Right For Your Child

As a responsible, loving parent, you're always looking for enjoyable, constructive activities to introduce to your children. Whether you've been a chemistry buff all your life, or just thought of chemistry sets out of the blue, and are suddenly inspired to give one to your children, it's a good guess that you should check your intentions before you buy. Even with the best of your intentions, you can waste money on an educational toy by giving it to your child who finds they are not the least bit interested in it. Even though you thought it was a good idea!
The trick to finding out if a chemistry set is really a "good-choice", present for your child, is simple. Don't go on what you "think" they would like, go on what you KNOW they would like.
The no-brainer of course, is the scenario where your own hobby of playing with chemistry attracts your children's natural curiosity in what you are doing, and with your warm, loving bond as a parent, you include them and complement them as welcomed participants. Guaranteed, they will develop a keen interest in chemistry.
But what if you're like most parents and feel like they're shooting in the dark when it comes to finding fun, but educational toys, that will inspire their children to accelerated enjoyment of learning at school? The answer here is, to become even more inquisitive, observational, and conversational yourself!
See, listen, and discuss what your child is, by his or her nature, naturally attracted to.
If it's flips on a broad beam, skateboarding, or nuking an invisible batch of invading aliens on a computer game, you still don't really know if your child would embrace a chemistry set as an exciting alternative, or addition to their enjoyable hobbies.
Based on what he or she likes doing, "NOW" you may never know. That is until you interact with your child to discover his or her intellectual needs and curiosities.
While all your son or daughter is currently focused on is baseball scores, you may have not noticed that they also wonder about simple things such as, "Why does the dough you make for our garlic bread and pizza seem to grow while it's sitting, and waiting to go into the oven?"
Listen to your child's questions about what they are seeing you doing. Watch what your child likes to do most while playing. Listen to what your child tells you.
When your daughter makes an off-hand scientific comment that she's always wondered how you make bubbles, tell her you'll show her, and get her a chemistry set! If you think your son was born for the NHL, but hear him ask you why this substance mixed with this substance produces a beautiful blue, he's telling you without even knowing it, about his natural interest in chemistry, and get him a chemistry set!