All you need to know about vaping

Vaping is gaining popularity with youth. My teens claim everyone’s doing it and the statistics are showing a rise in use. In 2017, more Ontario students in grades 7-12 had used e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes. About one-in-ten students (around 80,800 in Ontario), report using more than just a few puffs of vape, with or without nicotine, in the past year.

Two women vaping outdoor. The evening sunset over the city. Toned image

Vapes also known as e-cigarettes , vape pens, mods and tank systems are battery operated devices that change a liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled.

An important question to ask ourselves is “should we be worried about vaping?”

The answer is yes! We should be worried. The vaping industry is marketing to youth with its fun shapes, colours, sizes and flavours. These products are made to resemble pens, USB sticks, cigarettes, cigars, pipes or everyday items. Due to this, vaping may go unnoticed  in schools and around the community.

But isn’t it better than smoking tobacco cigarettes? Dr. Denoble eloquently answered this question… “is it safer to jump off a 100 story building rather than a 300 story building, sure, but the end result is the same”. Watch The DeNoble files short 1 minute clip below to learn more about vaping.

Vaping is not harmless water. It can contain harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.

There are currently no regulations for e-liquid therefore making it difficult to know exactly what’s in it. So you don’t really know what you’re inhaling! For instance, some e-liquids claim to have zero percent nicotine and in fact after testing, have been found to actually contain nicotine. Nicotine is unsafe for youth as their brains are still developing and it makes them more vulnerable to addiction. Nicotine use at a young age can also make it harder to learn, concentrate or control impulses.

Vaping is an emerging trend that can be scary to navigate with our kids. Here are 7 tips on how to talk to them about vaping:

  • Know the facts. Educate yourself so you can talk about it.
  • Help your kids plan ahead for social situations; this is most likely where vaping will be offered. Talk about how to avoid use and say no.
  • Encourage open conversations. This may be many small conversations over time. Try to find a natural time to discuss vaping, for example when you see someone using vaping products.
  • Ask your kids if they are vaping. Be patient, ready to listen and avoid judging.
  • Ask for support if needed from a health care provider or another trusted adult.
  • Be a positive role model; don’t use tobacco or vape products. If you do use tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. Get more info here: Halton Region Stop Smoking Clinic Information

Do you have experience with vaping? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

Posted in Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs, Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Transition to High School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keeping calm and carrying on for mental health

Woman sitting alone, deep in thought, having coffee and holding her mobile phoneAt work, in our kitchen, is a poster with words of inspiration – apparently. I however, have tried to purposefully avoid reading it, until the other day when I sat down for a meeting and it was right in front of me.

I am not sure what to think about this wall art.  Honestly, I find these messages unrealistic.  I also think they create pressure for us to be perfect. Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Depression & Anxiety After Birth, Depression & Anxiety During Pregnancy, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What you need to know for school zone safety

displeased stressed female car driver

I am a rule follower. Ask anyone who knows me. Rules bring order to life. When everyone follows the rules then things run more smoothly. Simple, right?

This is probably why my attempts to drop my children off in the designated school drop off zone result in feelings of anger, frustration and sky-rocketing blood pressure all before my day has really begun. The rules are not being followed. Continue reading

Posted in Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Teens and screens: the science you need to know

Teen girl on bed, looking at cell phone with headphones on while doing homeworkOver the last few decades, devices have become such a large part of our lives and one thing we can be sure of – they’re not going away.  64% of Ontario youth “spend three hours or more per day of screen time in their free time”.

There’s a lot of talk in the media about screen-time changing our children’s brains and affecting their health. So is there really any basis to screen-time being harmful?  I decided to investigate the science behind what happens in our kids’ brains and bodies when they try to meet the high demands of their devices. Continue reading

Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How to get your teens moving: Hoodwink or clever parenting?

Think about how much you and your kids are active in relation to how much you sit.  Humans were not made to sit, they were made to move. Muscles need to be worked, blood needs to be circulated, lungs challenged and bones to bear weight.

Girl walking with dog in nature.

Being active is the single best prescription a doctor could give.  It guards against chronic disease, elevates mood and keeps the body operating like a finely tuned machine. Continue reading

Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 awesome things I discovered about being a divorced parent

Mother, daughter and dog relaxed at homeQuite often we hear about how hard it is to be a divorced parent, and it can be, but there are perks too!

When I think back to when my daughter and I were on our own, I have very fond memories.  This is before I married my current husband, so she was between 18 months to seven years old.

Here are 5 AWESOME things I discovered along the way:

  1. I remember enjoying her all to myself, just the two of us, for several days in a row.
  2. I made all the decisions in the house. No one else to check-in with (except of course, my daughter) about what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go.
  3. After a long work week, she and I started a Friday tradition of pizza and movie night. We would spend time in the movie-rental store (I’m dating myself now!) looking for the right movie to rent.  I was able to watch the entire collection of Disney princess movies while snuggled up with her.
  4. Every night, in the middle of the night, she would make her way into my room and crawl into my bed. I pretended to be asleep, but she would fill the empty space beside me and wrap her small arm around my side.
  5. In an effort to help her with learning the joys of reading, I read the entire Spiderwick Chronicles to her, in an English accent (just to add effect). We had a goal of finishing the book before the movie was in theatres. She and I then went to the movie and talked about whether it was true to the book. She still has the book in her collection, despite the shedding of many other childhood books.

These precious moments allowed me to create love and security for my daughter. Today, she is a teenager and it is hard to get her attention. This is normal and what I would expect. But the strong and loving relationship which was built in her childhood, created a young lady who feels comfortable in her own skin, yet knows she can always find support without judgement from her mom.  I will always cherish these memories of just the two of us alone, but always together.

Share with us some of the awesome things you’ve discovered about being a divorced parent!

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About this guest blogger:

Jennifer Jenkins-Scott: I have been a health professional for 34 years, but more importantly a mother for the last 16. When I am not ‘on-the-job’, I can be found at Mohawk College working towards my certificate in Interior Decorating, on the bike trails, in the gym, skiing, crafting, entertaining or at home either reading a good book or binge watching Netflix.

Posted in Babies, Children & Tweens, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Teens, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It is possible! Tips for traveling with kids who have special needs

Cute little kid boy with suitcase on international airport. Mother and daughter on background, happy family waiting for flight and going on vacations.With the school break coming up fast, many families are preparing to travel. When you have a child with special needs, or even a child who struggles with transitions, you know there’s more to consider than just packing clothes for everyone. We connected with child development professional, Bev Legare, about the best tips for traveling with a child who has special needs. Bev has spent hours and hours with families helping them plan their family travels and vacations.

Here are the best travel tips she has learned along the way: Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Babies with Special Needs, Children & Tweens, Children & Tweens with Special Needs, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Toddler & Preschooler Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Teens, Teens With Special Needs, Toddlers & Preschoolers, Toddlers & Preschoolers with Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment