Archive for June 2012

Monthly Archive

Teen Swimming Myths and Facts for 4th of July

A recent article reported that drowning was the number one cause of death for males ages 5-14 in the US. Now that the weather is warmer and we’re spending more time outdoors, we wanted to re-address the myths about teens swimming. The tragic death of a Bonney Lake teen last week at Lake Tapps also shows the importance of making sure our teens know about swimming safety and drowning prevention. So this 4th of July weekend, not only do we need to remember to be safe around fireworks, don’t forget about the importance of water safety! Read full post »

Teen Pregnancy

In the US, teen pregnancy rates have gone down over the past 2 years, however they still remain very high. In fact, we have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates of any developed nation! Over 1000 teens give birth in the US each day, that’s 400,000 new teen moms each year. For teens, a natural part of growing up is developing their first romantic relationships. While many teens wait to have their first sexual encounter, nearly half (47%) of all high school students have had sex according to the Center for Disease Control. Read full post »

Importance of helmets for teens

Helmets should be worn whenever a teen is participating in something that slides or rolls. Biking, skiing, skateboarding, and snowboarding are a few examples of activities where a teen is traveling fast enough that a fall could lead to a serious head injury. Unfortunately only 25% of teens wear helmets, though thousands end up in emergency rooms each year with a head injury that could have been prevented by using a helmet. We asked our colleague Dr. Cora Breuner to provide insight on why helmets are so important for teens and we’re shown how to properly fit a bike helmet.

Here is a link to a flyer that shows how to easily make sure your teen’s bike helmet fits correctly!

Teen Gambling: fun or risky?

In the US, we recently had a huge multimillion dollar jackpot lottery. The large sum of money was covered by all the major news stations and people flocked to super markets to buy their lucky numbers. Though this jackpot is not typical, we do have many more opportunities for gambling with the explosion of the internet and cell phone apps than in the past. As adults, we may not see a risk in spending a dollar for the opportunity to win millions (even if that opportunity is miniscule). For teens, virtual games may be fun and harmless. Playing for points instead of money does not seem like a problem and spending a dollar on a lotto ticket isn’t bad for us, but could it be? Read full post »

Teen Mental Health, Chronic Pain, and Prescription Drug Abuse

I will be continuing with the Transgender Teens posts, but a recent study came out that I want to highlight, as it’s an important one. It involves teens, pain, and substance abuse- specifically, chronic pain, and the dangers that can come when careful attention is not paid to how teens are treated.

Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that lasts beyond a certain amount of time: usually 3 or 6 months. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand exactly what is causing it. For a parent, it is exhausting and miserable to watch your child suffer day after day. You should always be vigilant and ensure that your child’s pain is being appropriately treated; but if they are on certain medications, your vigilance needs to extend even further.

Read full post »

Teens and dangerous games

This week in the news there was an article stating 2 teen girls died playing a game called ‘Ghost Train.’ It seems, the idea behind the game is scary fun. The teens drove their car (full of 5 people) onto train tracks and fogged up the windows, in anticipation of experiencing a ghost. Unfortunately, a train approached. As the train got closer, they all tried to then jump out of the car. 3 teens successful made it out of the vehicle, but the 2 who died panicked and couldn’t unfasten their seat belts. The driver, who’d made it out, tried to go back to help them and now is in critical condition in the hospital.

Per the news report, the parents knew the teens had ‘played’ this game before, though they didn’t condone it. Read full post »

Transgender Teens, Part 5: Suppressing Puberty

When a teen who truly feels they are the opposite gender- a biological female who feels male inside, or vice versa- going through puberty can be quite traumatic. To feel like a young man who has breasts and is menstruating, or a young woman who has a low voice and chest hair, can be jarring and miserable. And yet a teen who is 12 or 13 is usually not considered mature enough to decide to transition their gender permanently. Read full post »

Teen Suicide

Teen suicide is a topic that is often not discussed or is seen as taboo, yet talking about it and knowing the warning signs can be the difference between life and death.  I was thinking of friends who took their own lives this week and was reminded of how much emotional pain teens and young adults may be going through and not telling anyone. The victims can remain quiet about their thoughts of suicide for many reasons: they feel ashamed or worry about being  blamed for not ‘snapping out of it,’ they may feel like they are not worthy of  another person’s time. For families of those who attempt suicide, they may feel stigmatized or blame themselves.

For teens contemplating suicide and the friends and families who love them, there is hope.  Teen suicide is something that we can prevent. Read full post »