Awareness: March, 2016

Note: For past issues of our MIRACLE Awareness pages and topics, visit our archives.

Government agencies and private organizations emphasize an annual listing of health and safety awareness observances. M.I.R.A.C.L.E. Online Books is unique, as each month, we elaborate on two or more of those observances, revealing the impact these illnesses, conditions, and circumstances have on children. More so, we want to bring awareness to these observances to encourage parental/guardian action for prevention.


So please, journey with us as we travel through the eyes of a child to enlighten you of their emotional and physical challenges and experiences.

Awareness Campaigns this Month

The month of March recognizes many health challenges that affect children, such as Brain Injury Awareness Month and National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Each of these illnesses can affect a child behaviorally, emotionally, and socially, not to mention causing communicational, cognitive, physical, and sensory disabilities.

On a brighter note, according to psychological studies, Color Therapy Month is a great time to reevaluate the color of your child's environment by implementing age appropriate colors into their living spaces. Did you know that certain color selections can influence mood and behavior, stimulate the brain and body, and even affect one's health?

National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Our elaborating topic for March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month and the effect it has on children' exposed to a gambling environment. Did you know, in 2014, the U.S. was rated the top country totaling gambling losses over $142.6 billion? South Korea was rated as the bottom country totaling gambling losses over $7.9 billion.


Did you know a child's life can be altered immensely when exposed to an environment with pathological or compulsive gamblers? We listed just a few challenges children can experience.

  • Children may stop trusting a parent who makes promises he/she does not keep.
  • Children taking care of their younger siblings or trying to support their parent can become stressed.
  • Children can experience a lack of food, clothing, utilities, and even homelessness due to family financial hardship.
  • Children can become emotionally or physically abused due to arguments and confrontations.
  • Children can feel forgotten, angry, sad and depressed; depression can lead to a child attempting suicide.

If your child is exposed to gambling addictions within the home, contact The National Council on Problem Gambling through the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at (800) 522-4700; you can also contact Gamblers Anonymous, services for anyone who desire to quit gambling.


Are you aware children as young as 12 years old have become involved in gambling?


Studies indicate children may replace animal, candy, and other fantasy-themed games to ones they have seen adults around them play online and/or in-person or, perhaps, on television. Ultimately, access to online games and mobile applications are likely creating a children's community of problem gamblers. Even if your child is not gambling, they may be addicted to online games. So, when a child says "I'm addicted" to an online game, we should take them seriously and recognize they are at risk for a gambling addiction. Below we have provided a few child-related resources.

  • Educate yourself through Know the Odds  and monitor your child for problem gambling warning signs
  • Educate your child about problem gambling and the consequences associated with this behavior
  • Don't Bet Yet is a New York Council on Problem Gambling that provides teaching tools, such as cartoons, storybooks, and worksheets. Limit your child's access to online games.
  • Limit and monitor online gaming to avoid stepping stones to real gambling activities.


Together, we can keep children from problem gambling.

Other Health Awareness Campaigns this Month

Other observances this month include these safety and health issues:

Awareness Campaigns by Week

Lymphedema Awareness Week is recognized from March 6-12th. Lymphedema (limf-uh-dee-muh) is a build-up of lymph (limf) fluid in the fatty tissues just under the skin. The build-up causes swelling, most often in the arms and legs; symptoms can include swollen fingers and toes, tightness, heaviness, discomfort, and aching in arms or legs, as well as developing thick, hard skin or experiencing limited range of motion in legs or arms. Infections may also appear in the affected areas.


Lymphedema may be primary or secondary. Primary lymphedema is caused by issues with developing lymph nodes and vessels and is inherited; approximately 1 in 100,000 children are affected with this rare condition. Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymph nodes or vessels through infection, injury, surgery, cancer, or radiation treatments for cancer.


As a parent/guardian, are you aware lymphedema affects children differently, based on their age group? Example, younger children born with their condition are accepting of their lives, whether they suffer for life or hope for a cure. Adolescents are more aware of their body image and the ability to fit into a peer group; some become withdrawn from family and friends. Older children, leading into adulthood, are concerned about the influence their body images will have on relationships.

 
Read more info about lymphedema at International Lymphedema Framework. Despite the challenges in each age group, all would welcome and can benefit sharing their personal stories and connecting with other children experiencing similar challenges. Lymphedema Treatment Act Blog is an open community blog where you and your child can compose a brief story about living with lymphedema.

Table 1: Health and Safety Awareness Campaigns by Week
Week Observance or Campaign
3/1-3/07     Aplastic Anemia and MDS Awareness Week (National)
3/6-3/12

Lymphedema Awareness Week

Sleep Awareness Week

Teen Tech Week

World Glaucoma Awareness Week

3/7 - 3/11 School Breakfast Week (National)
3/13 - 3/19  

Patient Safety Awareness Week

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week (National)

3/14 - 3/20   Brain Awareness Week
3/17 - 3/23   Crisis Line Awareness Week
3/18 - 3/24   Healthy Weight Week
3/20 - 3/26  

Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week

Poison Prevention Week (National)

3/27 - 4/02   Root Canal Awareness Week

Awareness Campaigns by Day

March 22nd is Water Day (World). In respect to the severe water contamination in Flint, Michigan, we can all help with our continual donations of fresh water.  We can also prevent water pollution of lakes, rivers, groundwater and drinking water by: Conserving water; using environmental household cleaning products; preventing pesticides from infiltrating water sources; and not littering our beaches, lakes and rivers.

Table 2: Health and Safety Awareness Campaigns by Day
Day Observance or Campaign
1 Self-Injury Awareness Day
2 Read Across America Day
4 Dress in Blue Day (Colon Cancer Alliance)
5 Multiple Personality Day
10

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day  

World Kidney Day

16

Brain Injury Awareness Day

Kick Butts Day

20 Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (National)
21

Int'l Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

World Down Syndrome Day

22

Water Day (World)

American Diabetes Alert Day

24 World Tuberculosis Day
25 National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day
26 Purple Day (Epolepsy Awareness)
27 Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) Awareness Day

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