7 children who are at risk of rape

There has been a lot of recorded rape cases in the news in our country recently. These acts although frowned upon in our communities, still have not received the needed attention both till now.

It has become very necessary for parents to know how to protect their children from such perpetrators. Although children are being targeted,  not all children are at risk of being abused sexually. Studies have shown that some groups of children are at a higher risk of becoming rape victims than others.

1. Children from a poor family: Poverty poses a great risk to the health of families, communities, and nations as a whole. One of the many risks is the risk of children being raped. This is mostly due to the community or neighbourhood they live in, the level of education of the parents, their lack or inability to seek legal representation if such incidents happened. Children born to poor parents need protection.

2. Children in rural basic schools: Let me ask you,  of all the rape cases recorded in school how many were in Private schools? It is a known fact in Ghana that parents who are well to do send their children to private schools  (Primary and junior high schools ). Therefore there  is an almost 0% risk of getting your child raped in a private school. This is because the people know the parents can take you on.

3. Children from broken homes (with single moms ): Having both parents around to care for a child creates a protective shield for them. But when a marriage breaks and single parenting sets in, especially in cases where the mother is left to care for the children, people with these bad intentions tend to think the mothers are not able to stand up for their kids without the father. Especially in cases when the woman is uneducated.

4. Children who experience poor parent child relationship: Children depend on their good relationship with their parents to form other relationships outside. When there is a gap or an unfriendly one between them and their parents, they are likely to extend that need for attention and care to others who may take advantage of it to abuse them sexually. It is important for parents to strengthen their bond with their children to avoid misplaced dependency.

5. Children who are left at home with no proper  supervision: In this modern-day where parents are mostly busy and have little time to spend watching over their own kids; it is easy for them to be left in the care of an unqualified caretaker. Such practice exposes the children to sexual abuse and other kinds of abuse.

6. Children who live with their step-fathers: It is more common to hear about a step father sexually abusing his step child than to hear about a biological father doing same. Mothers who have their children living with step parents should be aware and vigilant to avoid such malpractice.

7. Children who are in abusive homes: No one likes to live in an unhappy home.  Children who are from abusive homes like to stay out to prevent the negative energy at home. These children are sometimes exposed to people who might abuse them sexually. The sad part is that such children are mostly not heard when they complain to their parents.

 NB: These children listed here are at an increased risk of being sexually abused. But it doesn’t mean that all children in these categories are or will be abused. Prevention is better than cure. And knowledge is power.  Now that you know, you have the power to protect your child.

 

picture by Trevor Cole.

 

 

 

 

 

Effects of the unhealthy every day snack culture on your child.

brigitte-tohm-147669Not long ago, kids in Ghana went to school with either a home cooked meal or went to school to eat waakye, rice and stew , etc without much worry about drinks and the likes. At least those were for occasions like Our day(end of term celebrations) or for the Dada be’s (rich kids) during weekends. Kids in those days ate better than what we see now.

Today, almost every child attending a private creche, pre-school, kindagarteen, primary and even some JHS go to school with snacks that are unhealthy every day, five (5) times in a week. Parents buy drinks, biscuits, toffees, bubble gum, etc for their kids just because it is now an acceptable practice. But this practice has both long and short term health effects that need to be considered before buying your next snack.

1. Obesity : The snack culture like many other adopted cultures was copied from the western world. But as we copied we did not lok at its pros and cons before embracing it for our children. America is fighting childhood obesity due to this habit of exposing kids to sugary drinks and biscuits, toffees and the likes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that  from 2011 to 2014, between 2 and 19 year olds, about 12.7 million children and adolescents are affected with obesity.

The snacks kids are being given on a daily basis contains calories, sugar, sweetners and other chemicals that causes an unhealthy increase in body weight.

2. Increased risk of diabetes : Parents who have a family health history of type 2 diabetes increases their chidren’s risk of developing diabetes in future with this snack culture. It is very important for parents to know their health history in order to have control in managing the health of thir kids.

Kids with diabetic parents should not be handed these sugary snacks when it can greatly harm their health.

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3. Dental ill health : One significant cause of tooth decay / dental carries is too much sweets. When kids are given sweets every day for school, we are investing in their weak teeth in a few years to come. Especially when our attitude towards periodic health checks is poor. Giving your child unhealthy snacks daily will harm their teeth.

4. Decreased attentiveness: Sugar gives energy. More so for kids, it makes them hyperactive and difficult to keep still. Every chold is unique in their composition. Some are more active than others. For the more active kids, giving them sugary foods only increases their activities thereby reducing their attentiveness in class. On the other hand, a less active child could benefit from a little sugar to boost his/her activity level.  You should know your child and what will be best for him/her.

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5. Unhealthy future habits: Children learn from adults and form their opinions and habits from what they are exposed to by their parents. By giving your child unhealthy snacks daily, you indirectly tell them it’s good so they keep the practice and continue while the grow. Such habits only lead to obesity, heart diseases, etc for an adult.

Let’s review this unhealthy culture for a healthy future generation.

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