Me Too….

America’s Olympic sweetheart, Simone Biles is the latest prominent young lady to come forward with claims of sexual abuse.   She says her abuser was a trusted authority figure, the US gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.  Simone joins over 140 female athletes who say the doctor took advantage of them when they were just children.

We reached out to Jacksonville Pediatrician, Dr. Prasanthi Reddy on steps parents can take to minimize the risk of their children being similarly abused.

 

By Prasanthi Reddy, MD

As a mother and a pediatrician, it is disturbing to learn about the abuse of power amongst people that we most trust to care for our children.  Child sexual abuse is unfortunately more common than most people know.  It is a difficult subject for parents to discuss with their children.  Parents often fear the loss of childhood innocence when acknowledging such atrocities in this world 

Unfortunately it is a subject that every parent needs to discuss with their children.   Knowledge is power even for children.   Here are some guidelines from American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center for Victims of Crime that will help guide parents.  

 

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
  • Incidence of abuse are commonly under-reported.

 

 What parents should know about child sexual abuse:

  • Most offenders are known to the child; they may be family members, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and others in positions of authority.
  • Children most susceptible to sexual abuse have obedient, compliant and respectful personalities. They may be children from unhappy or broken homes, as these youngsters may be eager for attention and affection.
  • Children who are victims of sexual abuse can display many or few behavioral symptoms. They may withdraw from family or friends, display poor school performance, experience depression, anxiety, or exhibit aggressive and self-destructive behavior. Or they may not display any outward abnormal behavior.
  • Child sexual abuse often involves more than a single incident, and can go on for months or years.
  • Sexual abuse includes any kind of sexual act or behavior with a child, and includes activities involving genital contact as well as non-contact events- such as showing pornographic images to children, taking pornographic photographs of a child, etc.

Tips that can minimize your child’s risk of molestation:

  • In early childhood, parents can teach their children the name of the genitals, just as they teach their child names of other body parts. This teaches that the genitals, while private, are not so private that you can’t talk about them.
  • Parents can teach young children about the privacy of body parts, and that no one has the right to touch their bodies if they don’t want that to happen. Children should also learn to respect the right to privacy of other people.
  • Teach children early and often that there are no secrets between children and their parents, and that they should feel comfortable talking with their parent about anything — good or bad, fun or sad, easy or difficult.
  • Be aware of adults who offer children special gifts or toys, or adults who want to take your child on a “special outing” or to special events.
  • Enroll your child in daycare and other programs that have a parent “open door” policy.  Monitor and participate in activities whenever possible.
  • As children age, create an environment at home in which sexual topics can be discussed comfortably. Use news items and publicized reports of child sexual abuse to start discussions of safety, and reiterate that children should always tell a parent about anyone who is taking advantage of them sexually.
  • If your child discloses any history of sexual abuse, listen carefully, and take his or her disclosure seriously. Too often, children are not believed, particularly if they implicate a family member as the perpetrator. Contact your pediatrician, the local child protection service agency, or the police. If you don’t intervene, the abuse might continue, and the child may come to believe that home is not safe and that you are not available to help.
  • Support your child and let him or her know that he or she is not responsible for the abuse.
  • Bring your child to a physician for a medical examination, to ensure that the child’s physical health has not been affected by the abuse.
  • Most children and their families will also need professional counseling to help them through this ordeal, and your pediatrician can refer you to community resources for psychological help.
  • If you have concerns that your child may be a victim of sexual abuse, you should talk with your pediatrician. Your physician can discuss your concerns, examine your child, and make necessary referrals and reports.

 

Prasanthi Reddy, MD, FAAP, CIC is the medical director and owner of Rainbow Pediatric Center (RPC).    She is a board-certified pediatrician with special interests in childhood development, asthma and pediatric concussions.

 

Hodges and JTB                                                                                                                                Nocatee Location

4788 Hodges Blvd                                                                                                             101 Marketside Ave

Jacksonville, FL 32224                                                                                                     Ponte Vedra, FL 32081

904-223-9100

 

 

Oprah speaks up for our girls

If you missed the Golden Globe Awards, media icon Oprah Winfrey was honored with the group’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.  Miss Winfrey used the occasion to speak out powerfully on the issue of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and society at large.  We all learned about a young woman named Recy Taylor who was walking home from Church when viscously attacked by a group of men.  Those men were never held accountable for their cruelty.  Oprah said we must all work for the day when no one has to use the hashtag #metoo.  

 

Silent Night is back at the Jacksonville Humane Society

Every year, the Jacksonville Humane Society asks families like yours to consider hosting a pet in their homes just for the Christmas holidays.  Its a huge blessing because it reduces the amount of time the JHS staff has to spend away from their families  during Christmas. Our furry friends still to to be let out for walks and fed even on Christmas day.  JHS provides the pet food.  All you have to do is pick out a dog or cat at the Humane Society on Beach Boulevard Saturday or Sunday and then bring it back after Christmas.  Click here to get all the details or just stop by the Humane Society on Beach Boulevard to learn more.

No smoking if you’re under 21

Officials in Tallahassee are trying to raise the age to buy cigarettes in Florida from 18 to 21.  Some argue most people who begin smoking do so when they’re young so this is a way to keep more people from ever picking up the habit in the first place.  If The Tobacco 21 Act becomes law, Florida will join California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon in making it against the law to sell cigarettes, vapes and other tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

Interestingly, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although fewer African Americans use tobacco than other groups and start smoking cigarettes at an older age, they are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases if they smoke.  Of those who do smoke, 3 out of every 4 blacks want to kick the habit, the highest in the nation.   If you’re trying to quit but just can’t seem to stop, your doctor has medical treatment options that make quitting easier.

Alexa vs. Google home

Voice activated smart technology is all the rage right now.  You might just see it under your Christmas tree this year. The two major players are Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.  The question a lot of people have is, which is better?  In our research, it seems to be a matter of opinion in most areas.  Amazon’s nicer unit, the Amazon Echo and the Google Home offer the best audio quality of any of the voice activated devices.  Hopefully however, you’re using your smart home device for more than just music.

With the Alexa you can order things online using your Amazon Prime account.  With both Alexa and Google Home you can ask them to be your alarm clock, set timers, find out the local weather or the weather for another city you plan to visit.   If you have more then one, you can use them as a home intercom system or even check in on your mother or the kids when they’re away at college.  With add on smart outlets, smart switches, smart hubs and other equipment you can ask it to turn lights on and off, ask it to change the TV channel to your favorite show, open and close your garage, lock the front door and set your home security system.  The good thing is you can add more smart outlets and other add on equipment gradually.  Better news, both Amazon and Google will likely continue to make improvements on what smart home technology can do.  Best news, you can say “Play Praise 107.9 from Tune In Radio” and it’ll instantly start playing your favorite radio station!

 

We’re going to the playoffs!

Our Jacksonville Jaguars made it look easy. The Jags beat the visiting Houston Texans at Everbank field 45 to 7. The win clinched the first Jaguars playoff berth in 10 years.

This season’s success is due in part to the performance of wide receiver Jaydon Mickens.  Jaydon has lived a rags to riches story.  Earlier in the year Mickers was sleeping in his car unsure is the Jaguars would sign him to the team.  They did and now the Jags are playing their best football in a decade.

Next week we play the San Francisco 49ers.  The week after we take on division rivals Tennessee Titans then its the road to the Superbowl!

Will Amazon move its headquarters to Jacksonville?

Online retailer Amazon is looking for a new home and Jacksonville is being considered.  If Amazon moves its headquarters here, it will probably be the biggest event in the history of our city’s economy.  To put it in perspective, wherever Amazon moves they’ll bring 50,000 jobs most paying $50,000 and higher.  Plus Amazon has a strong track record of job recruitment in minority areas.

To help make Jacksonville more attractive to Amazon, the city has offered 200 acres of prime riverfront land free of charge to the company if they move here.  There’s even been talk of renaming the St. John’s River, the Amazon River!  238 other communities are also hoping to be the new home for Amazon but word is Jacksonville is one of the stronger contenders.

 

Omarosa Manigault Newman is leaving the Trump Administration

After just one year as Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Donald Trump Administration, Jacksonville’s Omarosa Newnan is reportedly resigning her position at the White House next month.

Omarosa first met Donald Trump when she was a contestant on the reality TV show, The Apprentice in 2004.  The two remained friends over the years and she even participated in two additional seasons of The Apprentice.  When Donald Trump was elected President he asked her to join his administration as arguably the most well known African American in the Trump administration.

Earlier this year, Omarosa married local Jacksonville Pastor, Dr. John Allen Newman and serves by her husband’s side as  First Lady of The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary located on King’s Road.

It’s getting cold!

With very cold weather expected in our area over the next few days we wanted to give some information to keep your family safe and help the community.

7 out of 10 fires in homes in colder months are caused by space heaters.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that more than 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths are caused each year by space heaters. We all want to stay warm but fire officials caution us about their use.  Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from furniture curtains and bedding. You should NEVER plug a heater into a power strip. They are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire.  Also, be careful that they are not placed near anything that can catch fire and follow the manufacturers guidelines.