Time to Talk

3:45 p.m. Wednesdays and 6:45 a.m. Thursdays

Parents and professionals need timely education on the laws, science, society, and culture that children are up against everyday.

Time to Talk brings you accurate and appropriate information from state and local experts about issues that affect children, so that you can understand and communicate with and about them.

Through this segment, you'll develop a sophisticated understanding of the issues faced by youth today and be encouraged to confidently discuss tough topics that face our children.

Time to Talk is produced with the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and BayouLife Magazine.

Ways to Connect

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According the American Academy of Pedicatrics, children under 18 months should not engage in screen time. Amy Clancy, Director of Childcare Connections, discusses the importance of limiting a child's presence in front of screened technology. 

Clancy says the best way to monitor screen time is to talk with children as they are engaging in screen time. While there are no regulations on educational content, parents should be involved with how and what their children are looking at. 

On the importance of limiting screen time from birth to age two

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It's no secret that technology has tremendously evolved over the past decade. David Ferris, section chief of Cyber Crime Unit with the Louisiana Department of Justice, encourages parents to have open discussions with their children about internet safety. 

On what parents should be on the look-out for when their children use the internet

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About 60-70% of teens say medicine cabinets at home are their source for drugs. Mary Barrios, healthy living coordinator at the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, encourages parents to be more responsible with prescription medications in the home. 

Barrios says the best way to combat prescription drug abuse is to dispose expired or unused medications. With National Prescription Take-Back Day around the corner, parents and professionals will be able to push-back against the opioid epidemic by leading by example. 

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Within the past year, up to 80% of high school seniors have admitted to using cannabis. Dr. Jay Piland, addictionologist at Pecan Haven Adolescent Addiction and Treatment Center, discusses how parents can begin talking about substance use with their children. 

Piland says substance use can be a progressive disorder; therefore, parents should take an active approach and intervene as early as possible throughout their child's development process. 

On substances commonly used by adolescents

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Nearly all research agrees: peer support plays a huge role in suicide prevention. Jan Daniels, suicide prevention and youth development coordinator at the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, informs parents and professionals about a school-based suicide prevention program. 

Daniels says that it is important for children to talk to trusted adults in school and at home; however, parents and professionals must be proactive to catch the warning signs and help adolescents navigate this phase of life.

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Suicide is a top five cause of death in adolescents and teens in the United States. Terry Thomas, psychologist at Healthpoint Center, informs parents on suicide statistics, risk factors, and resources to provide education on mental health. 

On teen suicide and common risk factors

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A majority of sexually transmitted infections (STI's) in Northeast Louisiana happen among people under the age of 25. Iberia Watley, program monitor at the Louisiana Office of Public Health in Shreveport, informs parents and professionals on STI's and resources to combat high numbers in northeast Louisiana.

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It's never too early for parents to have "the Talk" with their children. Dr. Ryan Pasternak, associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, informs and encourages parents to be proactive with reproductive education. 

Pasternak says that parents tend to have the conversation about sexual health as a reaction to something else. It's imperative for parents to share accurate and appropriate information with their children to combat poor advice from peers. 

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In most cases, a child's brain is fully developed by age three. Patti McGilton, mental health consultant at the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, discusses how intentional, affectionate caregiving supports healthy brain development in infants and toddlers.  

McGilton says that infants and toddlers learn from what they observe and build trust when their [emotional and physical] needs are met. Stages of brain development vary from baby-to-baby; however, all babies respond well to secure environments. 

Early Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Health

Jan 24, 2018
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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) research has determined that adult behaviors reflect childhood environments. Dr. Paula Zeanah, clinical psychologist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, brings out statistical information about how adverse experiences may be linked back as far as a mother's pregnancy.

Adverse experiences can be household dysfunction, abuse, or neglect. According to research, 74% of people have faced some adverse experiences. Zeanah says the sobering findings have been the impact of early experiences on later adult health and behavior.