Chandigarh,12.10.18-The department of Pediatrics ( Child Psychology and Social Pediatrics ) organized one day workshop at Advanced Pediatrics Center , PGIMER on promoting Child friendly schools and homes which was attended by nearly 200 delegates including school teachers , counselors , Pediatricians , Psychologists and social workers from Chandigarh and neighboring states. In the rapidly transforming modern society, psychological and mental development of children has emerged as a vulnerable hotspot. Recent spike in cases of childhood abuse and psychological ailments is quite alarming. Issues like anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies have transgressed from the adult age barrier into the childhood period. Parenting as well as schooling of children is becoming more challenging given the pressures of modern lifestyle and urban living. Dr Bhavneet Bharti, Professor of Social Pediatrics, focused on various adverse childhood events (ACE) faced by children, both at their homes and schools. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful experiences in childhood, such as emotional or physical abuse, neglect, an incarcerated or drug-dependent household member, parental mental illness, divorce, and others. She also explained the short and long term consequences of adverse childhood events (ACE) with their notable impact on the physical, psychological and social health of children. In her talk, she underscored the overarching importance of adverse childhood events (ACE) in shaping children as healthy and successful adults. Early adversity can have lifelong impacts on learning, health, and opportunity of adulthood mental, physical and social problems faced by our society are in fact deeply rooted to adverse childhood events and experiences

Dr Prahbhjot Malhi, Professor of Child Psychology, highlighted how different parenting styles impact their adolescent children. She underscored the importance of resilience and presented guidelines how parents and teachers can help their teens thrive and flourish. Pressing issue of sexual abuse in children was discussed at length and participants were motivated to handle such issues with utmost urgency and sensitivity keeping in mind the fragile psychological landscape of children. Dr Bhavneet and Dr Vignesh presented illustrative case scenarios to understand the presentation of childhood sexual abuse Dr Bhavneet informed that dynamics of child sexual abuse differ from those of adult sexual abuse.In particular, children rarely disclose sexual abuse immediately after the event and disclosure tends to be a process rather than a single episode and is often initiated following a physical complaint or a change in behaviour . Dr Bhavneet Bharti discussed various strategies for sex education in different age groups (Abstinence and Comprehensive ) Need for a collaborative and inter-sectoral team approach was emphasized by all the speakers of the workshop. Key take home messages for participants were to screen families for adverse childhood experiences (ACE) at all possible interactions with various stakeholders, objective documentation of accompanying psychological burden of such experiences and involving various stakeholders in comprehensive and collaborative addressal of these issues.