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Teen Health Risks

The unintentional injuries cause the biggest risk to a teenager's health.

Alcohol and drugs are the important factors playing an important role in increasing a teen's risk of injury, as they water down inhibitions; increase the willingness to take risks while lowering the reaction time required responding to emergencies.

The National Clearing house for Alcohol and Drug Information states a teenager can drink for any reason i.e. boredom, peer pressure or depression. If a teen or parent is concerned about alcohol use, a healthcare provider or school counselor can be approached for getting professional help.

Accidents on the road

Teens are also at a high risk of accident on the road. In fact, according to AMA 3 out of 10 teens that die are due to motor vehicle crashes. Half of these mishaps are due to use of drugs or alcohol. Teens are also at greater risk for head injuries. The highest percentage of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is witnessed in 15-24 years of age.

If a teen is learning to drive, safety rules should be followed regularly. Until new drivers have developed their skills, the number of passengers in the car while driving should be restricted.

Communication

One of the most important works for parents is explaining rules for their children to follow. Some suggestions on effective rule making from the U.S. Department of Education encompass:

  • Be specific - Explain the reasons for the rules and the results of breaching them.
  • Be consistent - It makes no sense to restrict children from drinking and driving if the parents are doing it.
  • Be reasonable - Avoid unreasonable threats that can't be carried out.

By setting out rules and explaining values during childhood, parents can enable their children to make smart choices pertaining to their health and behavior.

Teenage Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (also termed as STDs or STIs for "sexually transmitted infections") are infectious diseases that disseminate from person to person through close physical contact.

How STDs Spread

Some of the factors that raise the chance of getting an STD are:

  • Sexual activity: The earlier a person starts having sex, the higher his or her chances of getting infected with an STD.
  • Multiple sex partners: People who have sexual contact, any form of intimate activity with many partners are more at risk than those who trust on the same partner.
  • Unprotected sex. Latex condoms have been considered as the only type of birth control that cut down the risk of getting an STD. Diaphragms, spermicides, and several other birth control methods can enable preventing pregnancy, but they are not effective against STDs.

Teenage Self Esteem

Doing the things stated below won’t dramatically enhance a teen’s self-esteem, but making the effort is vital.

  • Smiling. People like smiling people. Even a forced smile will lift up a teen’s own sore mood.
  • Good Posture. Standing tall not only assists to improve how a teenager looks, but it also help a teen feel more secured.
  • Making Eye Contact. Meeting another person’s gaze lets them realize a teen is reachable and confident.
  • Being Bold. This will get a little lesser each time until the teen starts feeling why being in public was a big deal earlier.
  • Going easy on them. Don’t forget that almost everyone feels insecure at one point of time. Self-confidence comes from being able moving on.
  • Doing what they love. As long as what a teen is venturing into is not wrong, a parent should support what a teen feels passionate about. What better bolster to self-esteem than being able to do what he wishes to?
  • Preparing for things. When teens give themselves more time to get ready for that big date they realize that things be likely to go much better.
  • Being able to walk away. Teenagers should be aware to cease and rely on their vigilant side. Teens need to know they can always try things like drinking and sex later, when appropriate, but if they do that they regret it cannot be done.

Teenage Boys Health

Here are some lunchbox tips to keep your teen satisfied and high energy levels:

A week’s worth of salad

Make one big chunk of undressed coleslaw at the starting of the week to save time in making the lunch during heavy schedules. Some finely shred carrots, cabbage, celery, and finely chopped parsley. Mix it with a little whole-egg mayonnaise and some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and use it to stuff multi-grain sandwiches, rolls and wraps.

Feed with meat

To add variety you can consider chicken or roast lamb as a source of protein. These meats can supplement the essential nutrients to a sandwich.

Add Fruits

The easiest, fastest and greatest snack is fruit and the more you add to the lunch, the more it gets consumed.

Extras, extras

The more options in the lunchbox the less likely your teenager is to get a potato scallop or a pack of chips.

Teenage Suicide Prevention

Suicide is an important public health issue. Every year, more than 30,000 US people commits suicide.  About 4,234 youth in the age range of 10 to 24 took their own lives in 2001. Despite declines among these statistics nationwide, for teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19 there is an increase in the suicide rate by 6%, and among children of 10-14 years, the rate has crossed the double range.

Causes and Prevention

Suicidal behavior is complicated. Research tells us that more than 90 percent of people who commit suicide had been suffering from depression or another psychological ailments or substance abuse disorder, with conditions often co-occurring.

Given the array of risk factors linked with suicide, prevention efforts must be diversified. Successful prevention efforts attracts to minimize risk factors and maximize protective majors (i.e., effective clinical care for physical, mental and substance abuse disorders; family and community support; and enhancing skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and handling of disputes).

Ensuring that youth have sufficient access to mental health solutions through mental health parity legislation is yet another preventive method. Surveillance data is "critically imperative" to understanding who is at risk and how to direct suicide prevention resources must be provided.

Teenage Signs of Depression

Though the term 'depression' can termed as normal human feeling, it also can refer to a mental health ailment. 

 Two main causes of depression are:
  • Great grief as a result of death, loss of hopes and dreams, loss of relationship, rejection or traumatic event.
  • Emotional abandonment from fear or inability to connect with another or others

Depressed youth often face problems at home.  In many cases, the parents are not spirited, are depressed, as depression runs in families.

It is important to learn that the behavior of depressed teenagers may distinct from the behavior of depressed adults. 

If one or more of these signs of depression prevail, parents should seek help

Frequent somber, tearfulness, crying
Hopelessness
High sensitivity to rejection or failure
Lose interest in activities  
Difficulty with maintaining relationships
Persistent boredom; low spirit
Social isolation, poor interaction
Low self esteem and guilt feeling
Increased hostility and anger
A significant change in sleeping and eating habits
Talk of or attempt to run away from home  
Frequent headaches and stomachaches complaints
Poor concentration
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Frequent absences at school and poor performance  
Self-Injury
Thoughts or display of suicide or self-destructive demeanor

Early diagnosis and medical treatment are necessary

There are many ways to get recommendations of qualified mental health counselors, including the following:

  • First, contact your insurance company for any limitations.
  • Talk to friends and family members for their reference.  If you participate in a parent support group, their members can also give some recommendations.
  • Ask your child's physician or your family doctor for a recommendation.
  • Seek help at your church, synagogue, or place of worship.
  • Contact professional bodies for recommendations.
  • Review network the resources listed on your state's Family Help page.
  • Look in the phone book for the glossary of a local mental health association or community mental health center and call these sources for referrals.

Call every one as well as request the therapist to ask some queries, either by phone or in person.  Such a discussion will enable you sort out your options and select someone with whom you hope you and your teen might interact well.

Teen Risk Behavior

Overall, the 2007 results display that teens are acting more responsibly. Fewer are sexually active, almost all wear seat belts, drinking and drug use have simmered down, 80% of kids don't smoke, and there are less suicide attempts.

Even then, the new figures are sufficient to take a parent's breath away:

  • 7% of teens told they've attempted suicide (less from nearly 9% in 2001).
  • 35% of teens accept they're sexually active (earlier it was 37.5% in 2001).
  • 18% of teens admit they carry a gun, knife, in club (no important change from 2001).
  • 20% of teens accept they smoke (compared to 36.4% in 1997).
  • Nearly 45% of teens agree they use alcohol (50% in 1999).
  • About 20% of teens accept they use marijuana (it was nearly 27% in 1999).
  • Only about 21% of kids take five or more servings of fruits and vegetables (less than 24% in 1999).
  • 25% of teens play video games or sit before computer for three or more hour everyday (raised from 21% in 2005).
  • More than 65% of kids admit that they don’t do sufficient exercise, and 25% of teens claim they don't even get an hour to exercise in a week.

Albeit, the survey and statistics are not immensely welcoming but it has changed the situation to a better progress. There is lot more efforts and hard work has to be put in to inspire the teens for their better health, future and reduce their health concerns.


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