Teens banned from using tanning beds
Cyber-bully fears run high: poll
About 23 per cent of B.C. teens have been victims of cyberbullying, according to a new survey of parents.
The online poll of 504 B.C. adults by West-6S Marketing found widespread concern about cyber-bullying, with 89 per cent very or somewhat concerned.
Eight per cent of adults surveyed also said they’ve been cyber-bullied and that rose to 12 per cent among heavy users of Facebook or Twitter.
More mainstream use of social media means cyberbullying is becoming more widespread and not just limited to online chat rooms, according to 6S Marketing president Chris Breikss.
“Considering the speed of social media and its availability -— through smart phones, tablets — harassment has become inescapable,” he said.
“It turns into a round-the-clock nightmare.
“The Internet’s immediacy gives bullies a perception of power and the sheer volume of these unmoderated interactions can have devastating consequences.”
About 46 per cent of B.C. adults use Facebook daily — rising to 64 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds — and levels are higher in households with teens.
Sixteen per cent use Twitter daily (37 per cent in the 18-34 group).
Fifty-eight per cent of parents surveyed said they believed their teens were the victims of “traditional” bullying.
Influenza clinics continue after tests
Seasonal influenza clinics are proceeding in B.C. after use of one of the vaccines was briefly suspended for further testing.
Health Canada announced last Wednesday that Novartis-made vaccines have been approved for use in Canada and Europe after an investigation of one batch in Europe. B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall said the suspension was precautionary and related to effectiveness, and there is no safety concern.
There are dedicated flu vaccination clinics at public health units, family doctors and pharmacists. To find the nearest clinic, use the flu clinic locator at immunizebc.ca or call Healthlink BC at 8-1-1.
The annual influenza vaccination gives priority to higher-risk patients such as seniors and those with chronic diseases, who receive the vaccine at no charge.
Seasonal influenza is a severe respiratory illness that is responsible for hundreds of deaths in B.C. each year.
Because influenza is spread through sneezing, coughing and contact with contaminated surfaces, B.C. regulations have been changed to require all employees in health facilities or other contact points with high-risk groups to either get the influenza shot or wear a mask.
Drivers cautioned on time change
Motorists are being urged to drive with extra caution as they adjust to the fall time change that brings darker evening commutes, often along with worse weather and visibility.
The turning back of the clocks at the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST) on Saturday night (Nov. 3) in theory gives an extra hour of sleep, but an ICBC survey found 30 per cent of drivers squander it by staying up later.
That can worsen drivers’ concentration, alertness behind the wheel and reaction time to hazards.
“There is a 10 per cent increase in the average number of crashes in the Lower Mainland during the late afternoon commute in the two weeks following the end of DST compared to the two weeks prior to the change,” ICBC psychologist Dr. John Vavrik said.
“We rationalize that extra hour — many of us think that since we’re going to get an additional hour of sleep, we can stay awake longer or drive home later, but we actually end up feeling more tired and less alert,” Vavrik said.
Sleep quality can also be disrupted due to more nighttime restlessness, he added.
Teen tanning bed ban in effect
A provincial ban on teenagers using tanning beds is now in effect to reduce their future risk of skin cancer.
Tanning salons that fail to post signs about the ban or who illegally let minors use tanning equipment without a prescription can now be fined $345 for each offence.
The ban was promised by the provincial government in March and followed requests from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
Use of tanning beds by youth is now only allowed under medical prescription to treat conditions like psoriasis.
Indoor tanning before age 35 raises the risk of developing melanoma by 75 per cent, according to the World Health Organization.
Nearly 1,000 B.C. residents are diagnosed with melanoma each year and about 150 die of it.