(Phys.org) -- The threat of bullying doesn't stop at the schoolyard gate nor does it end when the final bell signals the beginning of summer vacation, warns Dr. Jennifer Caudle of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Caudle is a family physician who has lectured on the subject of bullying to thousands of schoolchildren, parents and educators across the country.
Bullying can happen wherever kids gather in school, at summer camp or in cyberspace, Dr. Caudle said. Bullying isnt just limited to the classroom. Talking with your kids about bullying is just as important in the summer as it is during the school year especially when it is time to head to summer camp. She also noted that the proliferation of portable devices, such as tablet computers and smart phones, extends the ability of school bullies to reach their victims anywhere and at any time, well beyond the eyes and ears of concerned adults.
Recent statistics from a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrate the pervasive nature of bullying and how it can follow children wherever they go. Slightly more than one in five high school students (grades 9-12) reported being bullied on school grounds and more than 16 percent reported that they had been electronically bullied through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites or texting. Female students were electronically bullied more than twice as often (22.1 percent) as male students (10.8 percent). Girls in 10th grade were the most likely to be victimized online (24.2 percent), followed by 11th grade girls (19.8 percent) and 10th grade boys (18.1 percent). The statistics for New Jersey were similar to the national averages.
Talking with your child about bullying is key during the school year and during summertime. Make sure to ask questions; ask if theyve experienced bullying or seen other kids being bullied, Dr. Caudle advised. When talking with your children, be compassionate and let them know you are there to listen and that they can count on you for support. Remind them, too, that the two basic rules about bullying apply everywhere, including summer camp. They are: treat everyone with respect and tell an adult if they see bullying happen or are involved in bullying.
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