Every child, in every community, needs a fair go.
Last week, September 4-10, was National Child Protection Week, a public awareness event aimed to promote its theme: ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go'. As a College, child safety remains a central focus for us and, importantly, supporting students to feel empowered to let someone know when they don’t feel safe. Last year, we developed our Child Friendly Commitment to Child Safety, designed to help our students to understand their right to feel safe and what to do when they don’t. You can find this document on the College Website at https://www.kolbecc.catholic.edu.au/uploads/Commitment-to-Child-Safety-Child-Friendly-Version.pptx.pdf
The growing prevalence of vaping amongst adolescents has health authorities concerned, due to a rise in vaping-related deaths, seizures and permanent lung damage as a result of vaping. To assist parents to be aware of the concerns about vapes, the following is a brief overview from a health perspective and a legal perspective.
Even when using vapes that indicate they don’t contain nicotine, vapes are still not harmless. It is important to understand that when someone uses a vape, they are not inhaling water vapour. They are inhaling chemical vapour. When someone inhales on a vape, it triggers a sensor on the battery which turns on a heating coil that heats the chemicals stored inside and turns them into a vapour that is inhaled into the lungs.
Manufacturers are increasingly producing cheap vapes that are readily available and specifically designed to be attractive to young people – brightly coloured, often flavoured and, importantly, inexpensive. These are coming from overseas and are unregulated – meaning that these vapes may contain extremely dangerous chemicals.
Some of the chemicals detected in cheap vapes include:
Ingesting these chemicals from unregulated devices in unknown proportions can result in immediate health impacts – seizure, breathing difficulties, death – and long-term damage to your lungs, heart, brain development etc.
Most products that involve inhaling chemicals into the lungs go through a long testing process to prove they are safe and effective. These tests have not been conducted on the vapes available in Australia, so their safety can't be guaranteed.
These cheap disposable vapes have been designed especially to appeal to children. But they are anything but harmless.
Finally, it is important for parents to be aware that it is illegal to:
Anthony Tate - What parents need to know
High-profile influencer Andrew Tate was recently banned from Facebook, Instagram and TikTok after he was found to be spreading toxic, violent and misogynistic views about the treatment of women. Tate’s ideas have received saturation coverage on social media and many young people may have been exposed to his content.
Given the extreme nature of Tate’s views, we would encourage parents to use the holidays to discuss with your children whether they have encountered this content. Instagram account @theunteachables has developed a guide for teachers to handle discussions about Andrew Tate. However, this guide may be just as useful for parents to tackle the conversation about Tate or any other toxic online content your child may encounter: