Archive for 2013

Thanks Birth Control November 12th

birthcontrolpillBirth control in medicine is often used not just as a means for preventing pregnancy, but also as a life saving treatment option. For nearly 2/3rds of the teens I prescribe birth control to, we’re using it to help alleviate cramps that keep them home from school, irregular periods that are impossible to plan for, or such heavy bleeding that they’ve required a blood transfusion. Birth control has changed significantly over the past few decades, but one thing remains: it can change a life. 

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A Call for Parents: Make an Impact on Teen Health!

leahparentHello gentle readers! I am using this blog as a platform to let you know about an opportunity available to parents of teens aged 10-21, through Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington. The LEAH (Leadership Education in Adolescent Health) needs parent advisers to help guide its program now and in the future. It’s a way to make sure that your experience as a parent of a teen impacts the education of those who will be caring for, advocating for, and working with teens and their families.

I’ve posted the Parent Adviser description below. If you’re interested, please contact Erik at or 206-987-1215.

Please send this to any of your friends or family who might be interested!

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The Silk Road and illicit drug use

business and technology: e-commerce screen shotThe Silk Road sounds like a title of a romance novel, but in reality the story behind it is much more sinister. It is the name of an anonymous online market place for illicit drugs and has made headlines this week as the Federal Bureau of Investigations shut down the original version and arrested the person who started it. I first learned of the Silk Road last week at a symposium for pediatricians. A guest speaker at the conference, who is an expert on substance abuse, highlighted the fact that many teens are well aware of how to get drugs – illegal drugs – on the internet. I was dumbfounded (and so were nearly all of the other pediatricians in the room)! If something is illegal, shouldn’t it be a challenge to order and have delivered to your home? Apparently, it’s not that hard at all. Read full post »

Eating Disorders: Treatment Options Post 4

Treatment of eating disorders is complex and involves a team of specialists. It can range from hospital treatment to outpatient appointments and everything in between. In this post we’ll hear more from Dr. Adrianne Altman on the treatment options for teens with eating disorders.

Eating Disorders: Talking to your teen Post 3

This is the 3rd post in our series on eating disorders. Here, guest Adrianne Altman offers more information on how to talk with your teen if you suspect and eating disorder.

Teens in foster care

iStock_000004330022_ExtraSmall[1]Children and teens in foster care may not make up a large proportion of the population, however they are a group that are faced with challenges others are not. As parents, you may have the opportunity to play a role in the life of a foster child. This role may be in the form of a foster parent, or could be as a mentor or positive adult role model (even if it’s just because they came over to visit your teen). We asked a colleague, Dr. Kym Ahrens, whose research is specific to the lives of foster kids about this topic. Read full post »

Eating Disorders: Recovery and the Role of the Family Post 2

This is the second post in our series on teens and eating disorders. Eating disorders are a complicated disease. Treatment goes well beyond the idea of ‘just eat and all will be ok.’ For anyone with an eating disorder, recovery takes a team of support and family is probably the most important part of that team. Here Dr. Adrianne Altman discusses the role of the family in recovery.

National Teen Driver Safety Week

teen getting car keysThis week is national teen driver safety week so we wanted to highlight a topic that is always relevant: teen drivers.  Driving is a privilege that gives us freedom! It allows us to come and go of our own accord, without having to rely on someone’s schedule. It enables us to transport family and friends to events and is our way of getting to school and work. For teens, starting driver’s education and obtaining a license is a right of passage. It signals the start of transition from being a child to becoming a more independent adult. It can also be dangerous. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of adolescent death world wide, so this week is dedicated to helping us keep our teens safe on the roads. Read full post »

What You Need to Know About “Krokodil”

ivdruguseHeadlines have appeared recently about “Krokodil”, an intravenous drug common in Russia, that has made its way to the United States. It is reported to be “more perilous than heroin“, a “flesh-eating zombie drug“, and even a “zombie apocalypse drug“.

While Krokodil is an incredibly dangerous way to get high, it’s also unlikely to bring on the zombie apocalypse. Let’s talk about Krokodil, what it is and what it isn’t, and how to best warn your teen away from it.

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Facebook Changes Privacy Settings for Teens: What Parents Need to Know

teens and techThis week, Facebook announced changes to its privacy rules that allow teenagers to post status updates, videos and photos publicly. If you’re a parent with a teen on Facebook, this opens the door to an important conversation that you and your child need to walk through…and soon.

What changed?

Until yesterday, Facebook users between the ages of 13 and 17 were only able to set the “audience” for their posts as “friends” or “friends of friends.” Now, these users have the option to set the audience as “public.” With these new rules, the status updates (including photos, videos, etc.) posted by adolescents who have made their audience “public” can be read by strangers, and by marketers.This may lead to unwanted friend requests or messages, or possible use of your teen’s photos or posts in marketing materials – on Facebook or beyond. If your 14 year old daughter (or you, for that matter) shares some vacation photos publicly on Facebook, you may someday see those photos used to advertise a beach vacation in Mexico, or a brand of jeans your daughter is wearing. Read full post »