Disease Prevention for Teens

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What's involved with teen disease prevention?

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The teen years are a time of growth that involves experimentation and risk taking. For some teens, the social pressures of trying to fit in can be too much. These years can be even more troubling for teens who are confronted with teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, violence, bullying, delinquency, suicide, depression, unintentional injuries, and school failure. Parents often walk a tightrope between allowing their teenager to gain some independence and helping them to deal with their feelings during this difficult and challenging time in their lives.

Teenagers recognize that they are developmentally between childhood and adulthood. Emerging cognitive abilities and social experiences lead teens to question adult values and experiment with health risk behaviors. Some behaviors threaten current health, while other behaviors may have long-term health consequences. The changes in cognitive abilities offer an opportunity to help teenagers develop attitudes and lifestyles that can enhance their health and well-being. Teen disease prevention includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, preventing injuries, and screening annually for potential health conditions that could adversely affect teenage health.


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Do you know the warning signs of teen suicide?

Teen Suicide Warning Signs

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

Recognizing teen suicide warning signs

Suicideis alarmingly common. It is the eighth leading cause of deathfor all people (accounting for about 1% of all deaths) and the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24 (following accidents and homicide). The vast majority of suicides are related to emotional or psychiatricdisorders, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and others. Unsuccessful suicide attempts also are common and outnumber actual suicides.

While boys are more likely than girls to commit suicide, teensof both genders and all ages are at risk for suicide. It is especially tragic that the three leading causes of death in teens and young adults -- accident, homicide, and suicide -- all are preventable. Parents of teens should be aware of some of the warning signs of depressionand suicide. The American Academy of Pediatricsdescribes the following signs that may signal that a depressed teen may be considering suicide...


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