Hypertension in Children?

Hypertension on the rise among children in city

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MUMBAI: Recently Dr Ajit Menon, a cardiologist at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra, treated a 12-year-old boy for hypertension. The child, doctors suspected, was battling “school-related stress”.
“He complained of regular headaches. We put him on anti-hypertension pills, asked his parents to change his diet and taught him to manage the stress,” said Dr Menon.


The boy is among an increasing number of children and teenagers being treated for hypertension. A recent study by the National Institute of Health in the US shows a rise in the number of children between the ages of two and 18 being hospitalised for hypertension (see box). Though no data for India is available, city doctors say the statistics here could not be very different.

Doctors said while some children have high blood pressure because of physiological problems like kidney ailments, lifestyle – poor diet and high stress – is the main cause of hypertension.



“A majority of school and college-going children eat junk food, which has a high quantity of salt in it. Lack of exercise also makes them obese and puts them at a higher risk of hypertension,” said Dr Rohit Agarwal, member of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics. The anxiety to excel in school is also a major cause. “Parents who push children to get good grades are pushing them to a stage where they need medicines to control stress,” said Dr Menon.

The solution is not just early detection. “Many schools conduct health camps, so teenagers are being diagnosed sooner. They need to make lifestyle changes early to eliminate the risk of damage to the heart and kidneys,” said Dr Ganesh Kumar, head of cardiology, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital.

A growing number of parents have taken their children’s education and health seriously and decided to homeschool them. Besides individualized teaching tailormade for their child, in homeschooling the whole family gets time to grow in relationships with one another and imbibe family values. Studies have shown that stress levels are considerably lower or absent in homeschooled children as well.

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Teacher teacher

As Homeschoolers who teach our children at home, people often ask us: How can you parents teach your children? Can’t you let the ‘professional teachers’ teach them?

Today we read about the results of the Central Teachers Eligibility Test given to teachers in India: The results shocked us too!

Only 0.4% of teachers pass eligibility test

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[Taken from Hindustan Times 7 Apr 2013 (Mumbai) HT Correspondent htmedia@hindustantimes.com]

MUMBAI: City teachers are worried about appearing for the new teachers eligibility test, conducted under the Right to Education Act, as only 0.4% of teachers across the country passed in 2012.

 


 

In 2011, only 14% passed the Central Teachers Eligibility Test (CTET), considered the benchmark for recruitment of teachers. In the exam, teachers must answer 150 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes.

“Only one out of three teachers who appeared for the exam from our school last year passed it. The test is tough because the National Council for Teacher Education has said a person must score 60% or more to be considered qualified,” said Najma Kazi, principal, Anjuman-I-Islam Girls School, Byculla.

In its meeting on Saturday, Shikshan Katta, a forum of educationists, decided to raise the issue of the test’s difficulty and other problems teachers have been facing under the RTE Act before the state.

Educationists blame the poor quality of training given to school teachers for their failure to crack the test. “Many teachers do not have updated knowledge about the subject they teach. The training should refresh and update teachers’ knowledge,” said Basanti Roy, former secretary of the Mumbai division board.

The test is not the only contested RTE provision. Schools have not yet received government resolutions related to new evaluation systems., and there is also confusion over the policy to not fail students till Class 8. RTE RULE Experts say poor training to blame for dismal figures.