Salisbury, MD - As parents -- kids and ---educators begin to gear up for the start of the new school year-- health officials warn that there is a new danger affecting middle school children.
"Suicide among children as well as adolescents even though its occurring at a lower rate particularly for adolescents is one of the leading causes of death for young individuals."
Suicide rates in kids ages *10* to *14* have doubled according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Michael Finegan who is with Peninsula Mental Health Services says there are some children who are more vulnerable to committing suicide than others.
"Fear -- one is families that are in a state of crisis where there is poor communication where a child feels like they do not have a voice."
Jason Cameron just took over as principal at Seaford Middle School in Delaware. He says the education community has many programs in place to help combat this health crisis.
"In our 7th grade health curriculum they actually do a suicide prevention unit so we do have some things like that in play to do something."
Middle school can be a tough time for some kids... as they try to figure out how to navigate the world. Principal Cameron says social media is one really big challenge for parents and students because on online bullying -- but he recommends regularly checking on your child's activity.
"Turn it off. I would say the biggest thing with social media is know what your kids are doing on social media. Don't be afraid to say Hey hand me your phone.
Health professionals say one of the best ways to find out if a child is thinking about committing suicide is to ask them how they are feeling --giving them room to share what's happening in their lives.
Erica Murphy. 47 ABC.
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