Sylvia’s Monthly Book Review ~ June 22, 2016

A Discovery of Witches:

A Novel (All Souls Trilogy, Book 1)

By Deborah Harkness (Author)


A Discovery of Witchesf

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

I found ” A Discovery of Witches” to be a fresh, intelligent, rich, and detailed re-imagining of our mundane world to include four kinds of people: humans and the so-called “creatures” known as vampires, witches, and daemons, where interrelations between the “creature” species is forbidden by an ancient Covenant.

The tale has the intellectual, detective aspects as found in the DaVinci Code  It has the political and strategic aspects of a complex chess game, with creatures poised on the brink of war placing their pieces in complex plans and stratagems. It tells the story of a deep, forbidden love between an ancient vampire and a witch of great power, a love that is tested by those who would stop at nothing to preserve the ancient Covenant and possess the witch’s power.

The book has the feeling of a classic epic: rich in depth, complexity, and detail, all of which are interwoven into a larger tapestry which we can only see a small piece of in this novel.

I have now started reading book two in this series “Shadow of Night and find this book just as good if not better than “A Discovery of Witches.”

About the author

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Scholar, novelist
Nationality American
Education Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, University of California at Davis
Genre Fantasy, historical fiction
Notable works A Discovery of Witches
Shadow of Night
The Book of Life
Posted in Sylvia's Monthly Book Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Book review of the week ~ 12th. March, 2016

New York Times Bestseller! “Masterly crafted”—The Wall Street Journal The Globe and Mail ~ “Haunting, heartbreaking, hopeful and altogether gorgeous…one of the best young-adult novels …

Source: Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Book review of the week ~ 12th. March, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Health Awareness ~ World Glaucoma Week ~ March 6th. to March 12th. 2016

glaucoma18 (1)

Glaucoma is an eye disease, and one of the most common causes of blindness that affects one in a hundred Canadians and three million Americans over the age of forty; the disease is caused by pressure in the eye. It often occurs in older people; however it has been known to develop at any age.
Increased pressure in the eye or poor blood flow causes people with glaucoma to lose their sight. Painless and unnoticeable, the eye slowly loses its nerve function and the loss of peripheral vision (loss of side vision). This is due to the increased pressure of the aqueous humor, (the clear water fluid that circulates in the chamber of the eye between the cornea and the lens); this causes damage to the optic nerve.
As glaucoma progresses it can destroy all peripheral vision and then impair the central vision, eventually leading to total blindness.

There are several types of glaucoma:

• Congenital glaucoma: affects young people
• Secondary glaucoma: usually the result of an injury or trauma
• Primary glaucoma: usually associated with aging (there are two types of primary glaucoma):
1. Acute or closed angle glaucoma is less common, this is when the trabecular meshwork (filter of the eye) gets obstructed or clogged and the aqueous fluid is not filtered efficiently
2. Chronic or open angle glaucoma is the most common type and patients with this type of glaucoma usually have normal or low pressure in the eye and gradually develop optic nerve changes and progressive vision loss without any symptoms until the disease has progressed to the loss of peripheral vision.
• Normal tension glaucoma: Is present although eye pressure is normal. It is usually caused by poor circulation, heart problems, brain tumors or toxic drugs
Your eye care professional can often spot whether the structure of your eye can lead to this problem and then it can be prevented with laser therapy.
Symptoms of acute or closed angle glaucoma:

  • A sudden dull aching pain over one eye
  • Changes in your vision
  • Blurring and haloes around lights

If you have any of these symptoms you should go to the emergency room or a professional eye doctor at once. The loss of vision is not reversible; it is permanent.

Causes of glaucoma:

  • Excessive use of antibiotics.
  • Family history.
  • Diabetics are more likely to have glaucoma
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Steroid use.
  • Some drugs can also harm the eyes, including Nsaid’s, Venlafaxine, Steroids, Simvastatin, Mirtazapine, Fenfluramine, Gastric antispasmodics and Antidepressants.

Glaucoma Treatments:

Tests for glaucoma are quick and painless. A pressure check for glaucoma is usually a routine part of an eye examination after the age of thirty-five. Your eye doctor measures your IOP (Intraocular pressure) with a special instrument called a tonometer. Depending on the results will decide whether you require more tests.

The most common treatment is for the patient to use eye drops daily to decrease the pressures.

  • You must follow medication schedules and fully understand them. If the pressures are not kept under control you may need laser therapy or surgery.
  • The field tests measure the pressures and detect any loss of peripheral vision.
  • To treat an attack your doctor may use a laser to make a microscopic opening in the colored part of your eye (the iris) to prevent another attack.
  • If the pressures rupture the blood vessels in your eye, you may require laser surgery to seal the ends of the blood vessels.

Self help or alternative medicines:

It is important to stay healthy since your general health can affect the glaucoma.
Helpful foods that include Vitamin C & E for eye health, or containing the following nutrients:

  • Yellow and orange vegetables
  • Green vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Vegetables and fruit juices
  • Drink 8 -10 glasses of water daily
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes daily
  • Avoid foods you have an allergic reaction to since this can increase eye pressures.

Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
Ten years ago, scientists thought it would be impossible ever to restore vision in glaucoma. Since then researchers have accomplished some initial steps.

Glaucoma research hopes to one day restore vision lost from glaucoma, but that can’t presently be done.
Existing treatments slow the process for most patients so no meaningful vision loss occurs in their lifetime. There are, however, several potential avenues to a cure.

Research Progress ~ 2016

For more than 35 years, the Glaucoma Research Foundation has funded innovative clinical and laboratory research. We will continue to lead the way in research until a cure is found.

Catalyst For a Cure

Our multidisciplinary consortium is seeking new, specific and sensitive biomarkers to diagnose and manage glaucoma more effectively.

Grants to Explore New Ideas

We provide seed money for creative projects that hold promise and explore new research territory.

Updates and Milestones

Interested in specific advances? We publish information about new research results as it becomes available.

Catalyst Meetings

Annually we bring together leading experts to discuss new ideas that could lead to a cure for glaucoma.

To read more up-to-date information – please visit the following two links.

For further information in your country please visit the following links.

Copyright Sylvia McGrath originally written March 2007 – updated in March 2o15

Posted in Health Awareness Months | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year

I Wish in all my friends that celebrate the holidaysMerry Xmas

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you and yours all the love and joy the season has to offer.

I will be back in the new year with some old favourites as well as new and unique content.  🎄⛄❄🎁



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October is ADD and ADHD Awareness Month


By Sylvia McGrath

Boy with ADD


Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of ADD and ADHD:

It is normal for children to occasionally daydream during class, act without thinking, and forget  their homework or get fidgety at the dinner table. However, impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention, are also signs of ADD or ADHD.

When a child has ADD/ADHD it can also lead to problems at home and school, and, affect the child’s ability to learn and get along with others. It is therefore, important to know what the signs and symptoms are and get help if the child is showing any of them. 

Some ADHA Symptoms:

  •          They cannot sit still, never seems to listen, 
  •         Do not follow instructions no matter how clearly they are given.
  •         They blurt out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times.
  •        They may also have been criticized for being lazy.
  •         They are labeled as troublemakers or undisciplined.

The symptoms and signs of ADD/ADHD usually appear before the age of seven. It can, however, be a little difficult to distinguish between normal kid behavior and ADHD. If a few signs show up only in some situations then it is probably not ADD/ADHD. Should the child show a number of signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD and are disruptive at home, school  and play then it is time to take a closer look.

Before an accurate diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can be made, it is important that the child is taken to a mental health professional to explore and rule out the following possible causes of the ADHD-like symptoms     

  • Major life events or traumatic experiences that may have caused stress (e.g. divorce, a recent move, death of a loved one, illness, bullying.)
  • Learning disabilities or problems with reading, writing, motor skills, or language.
  •  Psychological problems including-anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.     
  • Behavioral disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
  •  Medical conditions, including thyroid problems, neurological conditions, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

 Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in children:

 At this time, there is no imaging or laboratory test existing to determine whether a child has DD/ADHD. The diagnosis is mainly made on the signs and symptoms that are observed and by ruling out other disorders. It is therefore, important to have a full medical and psychological evaluation. Doctors usually interview the parent, child and any adult who can provide and insight into the child’s behavior.  When choosing a specialist to diagnose the child, it is a good idea to also get recommendations from other doctors, therapists, and parents. Insurance companies are also a good source for referrals and information about the coverage of the family’s insurance plan.

Mental health professionals who can diagnose ADD/ADHD include psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists.

 For more information, please see the following links: 

 World Links:

World – Non-Government Organizations

* Attention Deficit Disorder Association –

 Attention Deficit Disorder Association helps to provide information, resources and networking to adults with AD/HD and to the professionals who work with them. In doing so, ADDA generates hope, awareness, empowerment and connections worldwide in the field of AD/HD.

 * C.H.A.D.D.: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders –

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S.

First written by Sylvia McGrath, Freelance Writer – 2008

**Please note: that this article is just to serve as an information resource, this is not to be used for diagnosis. If you have any medical concerns or questions, please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Canadian links:


Book Recommendation:-

ADD & ADHD Simplified: How To Understand & Manage Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children, Kids & Adults – A Parenting & Caretaking Handbook 

Susan Jackson

 Available from and

Posted in Health Awareness Months | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

April Is Cancer Awarness Month ~ April 2015

Daffodiles1As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.  ~Emmanuel

Cancer is a word that everyone dreads and is fearful of hearing; yet most of us have been touched by cancer whether it is you or a loved one has been diagnosed.  Over the years research has done wonders. In many cases having cancer would mean that you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. People today however have endless information that advises them of up-to-date information on treatments and prevention and cancer is no longer a death sentence.

 Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL): ALL is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow and can be found in the spongy tissue inside bones where the blood cells are made. This illness got its name from a group of white blood cells that are called lymphocytic. Lymphocytic cells fight infection. The disease is called acute, because it progresses rapidly and affects immature blood cells rather than the mature ones.

ALL is also known as Acute Childhood Leukemia.

As a rule our bone marrow produces immature cells (stem cells) in a controlled way, which mature and specialize into various types of blood cells as required. When people have ALL, a number of immature, abnormal lymphocytes are produced and released into the bloodstream.  This is due to the production process going astray, and when this process does not work correctly these cells multiply quickly and squeeze out the healthy blood cells, leaving the patient open to infection and easy bleeding. Leukemia cells also congregate in other areas of the body such as the central nervous system and spinal cord, causing serious health problems.

ALL is a type of cancer that affects more children than adults. Although the disease does get worse rapidly if not treated, it does respond well to the treatments.

Signs and Symptoms

In the early stages of the disease signs and symptoms are very similar to those of the flu or other ordinary illnesses.

Other signs are due to a shortage of properly functioning blood cells. This is due to the overcrowding of the leukemia cells. When this happens a group of different problems occur, depending on the type of blood cell affected.

Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. When there is shortage of these cells (anemia) it can cause fatigue, pale skin and shortness of breath. White blood cells are infection fighters; they help the body to ward off germs. When there is a shortage of these cells (leucopenia) or another type of white blood cells called neutrophils (neutropenia) it can result in frequent infections. Blood platelets are cells that control and prevent bleeding by inducing the blood to clot. A shortage of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) results in easy bleeding and bruising. Other symptoms are severe nosebleeds, bleeding of the gums and small red marks that indicate bleeding into the skin (petechiae). ALL has been known to cause painless lumps in the lymph nodes around the neck, underarm, stomach or groin. It can also cause joint pain, bone pain and pain on the left side of the ribs due to the swelling of the spleen. It can spread outside the blood in to your central nervous system and other organs causing weakness, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, seizures and blurred vision.

T-Cell is a type of ALL that often causes swelling in an organ called a thymus which is situated in the chest near the heart. When the thymus swells it can press on the windpipe, causing shortness of breath and coughing or press on a large vein that carries blood from the arms and head to the heart causing swelling of the head or arms. This would cause a medical emergency that does respond to treatment. Possible risk factors are: • Children and adults who have undergone some kind or cancer therapy.

• People who have been exposed to high levels of radiation • Certain genetic disorders, for example Down syndrome, have been known to be a high risk. • People with siblings with ALL are slightly more likely to develop the disease also. Screening If any of the symptoms of leukemia are present, blood and bone marrow tests will be ordered.  These tests will help identify which kind of leukemia is present since there are four main types and several subtypes.

Diagnosis & Tests Blood tests are done to check the red and white cell count. People with ALL usually have too many white cells and not enough red cells and platelets. Another indicator of ALL is the presence of “blast cells” these are immature cells usually found in the bone marrow but not circulating in the blood. These tests can only suggest there could be ALL present but the test below is also required. Bone marrow test is done to confirm the findings of the blood tests. The bone marrow test, is usually performed by either a nurse or doctor, who removes a sample of the bone marrow from the hip (posterior iliac crest) with a needle to check for leukemia cells. If leukemia is suspected then the patient may be referred to a doctor who specializes in cancer (oncologist) or one who specializes in blood and blood forming tissues (hematologist) for this procedure. If a child is the patient then they could be referred to a pediatric doctor and a pediatric cancer center. When a child is diagnosed with Leukemia, the first thing the doctors will want to do, is investigate whether or not the cancer has spread. To obtain that information they may consider the following tests.

• Chest X-ray • Ultra Sound • Spinal Tap • Additional blood tests.

The next step is to determine at what stage the cancer is; however ALL has no established staging system.

Adults with ALL: are classified as “untreated,” “remission” or “recurrent”

Children with ALL: the following risk groups are used instead of stages.

Age: Infants and children under 10 years of age are placed in a high-risk category.

White blood cell count: the higher the white blood cell counts the higher the risk.

Immunophendype: refers to where the cancer began, the B-cell of ALL or the T-Cell of ALL

• Children with B-Cell or T-cell. B-Cell is a lower risk and T-Cell a high risk. • Cytogenetics refers to the changes in the chromosomes in the lymphocytes

Children with a particular kind of cancer that is hard to treat or who have sudden changes to their health are also placed in a high-risk category. Treatments Children with ALL have an eighty percent cure rate when they undergo treatments. Some of the newer treatments have been known to increase the child cure rate to as high as ninety percent. Adults with ALL have about a forty percent cure rate. Knowing the risk rate helps the doctors to determine the type of treatment required. ALL treatments fall into three stages: 1. Induction therapy: This first stage will destroy most of the leukemia cells in both blood and bone marrow. 2. Consolidation therapy: The second stage is a post – remission therapy and is aimed at destroying the remaining leukemia cells in the brain or spinal cord. 3. Maintenance therapy: in this third stage of treatment a lower dose of medication is given and prevents leukemia cells from re-growing.

Children with ALL usually receive treatments to destroy leukemia cells in the central nervous system during each stage of the therapy. This type of therapy is called: 1. Central Nervous System Sanctuary Therapy or 2. Central Nervous System Preventative Therapy 3. Intrathecal chemotherapy – this type of chemotherapy is injected directly into the fluid that covers the spinal cord. This treatment kills cancer cells that cannot be reached by chemotherapy drugs given through an intravenous line.

The three stages of treatments above usually take from two to three and a half years to complete.

Chemotherapy is the main form of “Remission Treatment Induction Therapy” given to children and adults with ALL. Each session lasts for approximately four weeks or more. During the induction cycle treatments it is usual for the patient to remain in hospital, due to the chemotherapy destroying a number of the normal blood cells while in the process of killing the leukemia cells; since this is known to cause anemia, infections and bleeding. Medications  Children with low risk: usually receive the following three drugs during the first month of treatment – vincristine, L-asparaginase and a corticosteroid (prednisone or dexamethasone) Children with high risk: may also in addition to the above receive an anthracycline drug such as daunorubici. Melanoma One of the most deadly forms of skin cancer is called Melanoma, which develops in the cells that produce melanin (the pigment that gives the skin color.) The number of cases of melanoma is on the rise; although it makes up the lowest percentage of skin cancer, it does cause the largest number of deaths. This is due to the fact that it can spread to different areas of the body. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight, tanning lamps and tanning beds increases the risk of developing melanoma although the precise cause is unclear.  Knowing the warning signs of skin cancer and avoiding sun exposure can help to prevent melanomas making sure that cancerous changes are discovered and treated before they have a chance to spread. If caught early it can be treated successfully.

Signs and Symptoms: Although melanomas can grow anywhere on the body, they do usually grow in areas that have been exposed to the sun, for example the arms, legs, back, and face. However, melanoma has been known to grow in areas that do not receive much sun exposure such as the palms, hands, fingernail beds and soles of the feet. The changing of an existing mole or the growth of a new unusual looking growth on the skin is usually the first sign of melanoma.

Moles Most people have from ten to forty moles, which are usually developed before the age of twenty. Some moles may change over time, while some have been known to disappear with age. • Moles that are likely to become cancerous are those that are more than twelve millimetres or half an inch in diameter. • Look for flat moles with uneven borders and a mixture of color. • The medical name for these moles is “dysphasic nevi” and they are more likely to be malignant.

The American Academy of Dermatology has developed an ABCD guide for listing the characteristic of unusual moles that may indicate melanoma or other skin cancers. A – Asymmetrical shapes (moles of irregular shape ones with different looking halves) B – Irregular border (moles that have irregular, scalloped or notched borders) C – Changes in colour (moles that consist of many colours or uneven distribution of colour) D – Diameter (a mole that is larger than six millimetres or quarter of an inch)


Other changes to have checked include: • Itching • Change in texture • Scaling • Spreading of pigment • Bleeding.


Risk Factors  Fair skin people usually have less pigment in the skin, which means they have less protection from UV rays.  Blond or red haired, light-eyed people who burn easily in the sun are more likely to develop melanoma than those with darker complexions.

It is however important for those with dark complexions including black and Hispanic to be aware and to take precaution against UV rays since they usually have melanoma diagnosed in the later stage when lesions are deeper and more advanced.

Other cautionary signs: • History of sunburns – people who burn easily • Excessive sun exposure – to UV rays • Weakened immune system • Exposure to the following substances – wood preservative, creosote, coal, tar, arsenic compounds found in pesticides and radium. • Rare genetic disorder – xeroderma pigmentosum Skin Cancer Screening • Ask the doctor to make a skin examination part of the yearly physical check-up. • Monthly self-exams to become familiar with the moles, freckles and skin marks so that changes are noticed quickly.


For more information: Please visit the websites of the following organizations: The Canadian Cancer Society – The American Cancer Organization – The Mayo Clinic –

 Written by Sylvia McGrath April, 2009

**Please note: that this e-book is just to serve as an information resource, this is not to be used for diagnosis. If you have any medical concerns or questions, please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Related articles:

Posted in Health Awareness Months | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Writing Is On The Wall – March 7th.,2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring arrived on March 20th.,2015


The Coming of Spring

By Sylvia W. McGrath


Spring is here again I see,

and many a bud do I see on the tree.

I love the soft notes of the birds that sing,

I love the sweet smell the daffodils bring.

Tulips in bold colours of yellow pink and red,

Brighten-up that dreary old flower bed.

The Robin arrives wearing his red vest,

and in the old oak tree builds his nest.

The cuckoo is on his way.

To do damage or just to play?

The coming of spring fills the air with fresh hope

And in the most stressful lives we feel we can cope


Posted in Writing and Poetry by Sylvia W McGrath | Leave a comment

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario



In my early twenties I was a housemother in a children’s home in Scotland. It was a short-term home for children who had been put into our care by the local district children’s officer or the courts. The children were put there because they had been abused, or because the parents were unable to provide them with the necessities of live.

I had lived a sheltered life, and was unaware that children were living in such despair and poverty. As they do now, social workers, police officers and other child-care professionals then operated under set, shared guidelines.

Many years later child abuse is a daily occurrence and in many different countries as the figures show below, ~ people who witness these acts are reluctant to get involved.

Child abuse is an umbrella term that includes five types of maltreatment—

  • Physical abuse,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Emotional harm,
  • Neglect
  • Exposure to family violence.

Jessica Allen*, a registered social worker in British Columbia recently spoke on the condition of anonymity (her employer has a strict media policy), explains that child abuse is defined as behaviour or actions that cause some kind of physical, sexual or emotional harm—threatening a child’s safety, survival, development, self-esteem or ability to thrive. “What wouldn’t be considered child abuse or neglect is parenting in poverty—this is not, automatically, neglect, although it can be a contributing factor,” she says. “Neither is losing your temper once and yelling at your children an isolated incident.”


Although studies say today it can cause long-term developmental damage, under Canadian law, parents are allowed to spank their children, and it only applies to tots older than two and tweens younger than 12. (Section 43 of the Criminal Code says parents can use “reasonable” force to physically discipline kids—so you can’t use a belt, or swat a kid in the head, (for example.)

 The following are a few update facts on child abuse:

  • In October, Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • Last year, 165,673 referrals about possible abuse and neglect of children and youth were received by Children’s Aid.
  • 47,925 families received ongoing protection services from a Children’s Aid Society after an investigation.

Every Ontarian has a moral and legal role to play in protecting children and supporting vulnerable families in our communities. By being alert to the signs of abuse and knowing who to call to help a child at risk of harm, everyone can help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Children’s Aid relies on the voice of the media and our community partners to alert communities to their role in supporting the welfare of children and families. It takes a community to keep children safe!

Media Contact For more information or media interviews, please contact Tanzeem Parkar, Communications Advisor at or 416-987-9854.

  • Abuse is a cycle: An abused child is more likely to end up in violent or abusive relationships when he or she grows up.
  • 1 in 3 adult Canadians have suffered from at least one form of child abuse.
  • 69% of reported physical abuse cases result from inappropriate discipline.
  • 60% of reported physical abuse cases involve boys.
  • 69% of reported sexual abuse cases involve girls. 


PHYSICAL ABUSE is deliberate physical force, including severe punishments that unintentionally injure a child: shaking, punching, kicking, biting, hitting, slapping, pushing, choking, grabbing and burning.

  • Physical signs: cuts; bruises; fractures; bite marks; injuries in various stages of healing; injuries inconsistent with a child’s developmental stage.
  • Behavioural signs: child can’t remember or explain injuries; aggressive and withdrawn; compliant; nervous around adults; cringes if touched; afraid to go home.


  • Is ongoing, criticizing,
  • Psychologically damaging behaviour including humiliation, name-calling, threatening, emotional neglect, rejecting, isolating, insulting and exposure to domestic violence.
  • Physical signs: psychosomatic complaints like stomach ache, headache, nausea; bedwetting.

Behavioural signs:

  • Depression
  • Aggression;
  • Acting withdrawn
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Phobias

Obsessive-compulsive disorders:

  • Overly compliant
  • Developmental delays
  • Speech disorders

SEXUAL ABUSE is any form of sexual conduct or exploitation directed at a child by someone who has power (older, stronger, etc.), including forced touching, exposing genitals, fondling, intercourse, oral sex, allowing a child to watch or participate in pornography, or sexual exploitation online.

  • Physical signs: stained underwear; injuries or itching in genital/anal areas; pain urinating; genital discharge; UTIs; excessive masturbation; STDs.
  • Behavioural signs: unusually advanced sexual knowledge; age-inappropriate or sexually explicit drawings, play with toys, or sexual acts; sleeping disorders; running away; poor relationships with peers.
  • Neglect: is the inability or unwillingness to provide the basics: food, clothing, shelter, supervision, feeling of safety; medical attention.
  • Physical signs: pale; malnourished or underweight; tired; poor hygiene; inappropriate clothing for weather; inappropriate school lunches.
  • Behavioural signs: frequent absences; listlessness; hunger; begging for food; stealing; mentioning lack of supervision at home.


You may see a child being berated by a parent in the mall; or a toddler slapped upside the head for not listening to Mom; or a father threatening his kid with the belt when his kid disobeyed him at the park. But, what is an onlooker’s responsibility? Should you intervene? Call 9-1-1? and how do you know whether you’ve witnessed a one-time lapse in judgment—that parent’s worst parenting moment—or a clear indication of a larger and ongoing problem?

“There’s a lot of stress on parents these days. Many reports of public abuse are of parents yelling, maybe even hitting their child, if, for example, a child is alone in a car and you cannot find a parent or the adult responsible for the child, call 9-1-1.

However if you locate the adult and she appears grateful that someone was concerned and she acknowledges her lack of planning or good judgement it may not need to be followed up with a report.

As a passer-by you can gently intervene by offering to help in a positive way. If you spot a parent shouting at her child in a supermarket parking lot, you might try diffusing the situation by saying, “It can be tough shopping with children. Need a hand getting your groceries in your trunk?”

However, if the parent does not think she is doing anything wrong or is annoyed that you are getting involved or you get the feeling that she does  not care about her actions, following up with the local child-protection agency is a good idea. Get as much information as you can perhaps a licence plate number.

If you are concerned about interfering in another parent’s business, do not be. It is our job to pick up the phone and report what we have seen, then leave it to social workers to decide what happens next. It is tough to know when to intervene in these situations, these incidents should be reported so social workers so that they can follow up and assess if the incident is an indicator of a pattern of abuse or neglect, or simply a lack of parenting skills. The same goes for making a report about someone you know, like a neighbour or your child’s friend’s parents. But the same responsibility applies: Report what you’ve witnessed and let the professional’s take it from there.

It is not your job to be sure of ~ or to investigate the abuse, but it is your job to make that call.

Reporting is confidential, and you can ask to remain anonymous. Even though the process differs in every province, there are lots of parallels that callers can expect.


Alberta: 1-800-387-5437

British Columbia: 310-1234

Manitoba: 1-888-834-9767

Northwest Territories: 1-867-873-7276

Nunavut: 1-867-979-5650

Ontario: 1-866-821-7770

Quebec: 1-866-532-2822

New Brunswick: 1-800-992-2873

Newfoundland & Labrador: 1-855-729-2044

Nova Scotia: 1-877-424-1177

Prince Edward Island: 1-800-341-6868

Saskatchewan: 1-306-787-7010

Yukon: 1-867-667-3002


Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention:

Child Welfare League of Canada:


Posted in Health Awareness Months | Leave a comment

March of Dimes News Board ~ 23 June, 2014

March of Dimes News Board ~ 23 June, 2014.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment