Teenagers are now subject to more threats than ever before. From cyber abuse, school shooting, and heroin, teenagers have greater levels of depression than in prior years and higher rates of suicide.
For parents and guardians, this involves holding a tough talk with their highly autonomous children about making good decisions about health and safety. If you're one of those carers, when you sit down to speak to your child, equip yourself with information on the top teenage wellbeing problems as well as tools to better manage the often stormy waters of puberty.
Motor vehicle fatalities remain the primary cause of teen deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that seven teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day from motor vehicle accidents and more are treated in emergency rooms for severe injuries. Teens aged 16 and 19 years of age have a far higher chance of death or injuries in a car accident than any other age group.
Until your teen gets behind the wheel—or becomes a teen-driver passenger—crucial it's to recognize the greatest hazards that lead to teen car accidents, and to develop a strategy to ensure that your teen is safe behind the wheel. Factors that lead to teenage traffic crashes include:
Inexperience: Teenagers are less capable of detecting unsafe conditions and have less evolved driving reflexes than more seasoned drivers.
Speeding: Teenagers are more likely to hurry up and drive too close to the vehicle in front of them.
Seatbelt use less than 60 per cent of high school students wear seat belts every time they get in a car. In reality, nearly half of the young drivers who died in a car crash in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt.
Drunk driving: figures show that one in six teenagers rides in a car with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol and one in 20 admits to driving behind the wheel after drinking.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death by teenagers. Around 2007 and 2017, teen suicide rates rose by 56%.2 Studies suggest that about one in 11 high school students is committing suicide.
Contributing causes to suicide include isolation, depression, family issues and drug abuse. The problems are nuanced and are not the product of one or two variables. Teens who have clear connections with at least one parent are less likely to engage in risky activity and are less likely to become depressed.
Learn to recognise early signs of teen suicidal thoughts, including:
Feeling a burden
To be alone
Feeling stuck or suffering from intense pain
Increased use of substance
Seeking for a way to use the deadly means
Raising indignation or wrath
Extreme mood swinging
Sleeping too little too much
Chat or tweet about wanting to die
Make suicide plans
If you believe that your child might be thinking about hurting themselves, inquire if they have thoughts of suicide, voice questions about their actions, listen closely without prejudice, let them know that they have been noticed and are not alone and direct them to professional assistance.
Approximately one in three teenagers is impaired by harassment—a type of violent conduct in which someone deliberately and consistently causes harm or pain to another individual. Bullying can be mental, emotional, physical, or online in the form of cyberbullying, which most often happens at school. About 30 per cent of teenagers agree that others are bullied.
Persistent abuse can trigger feelings of loneliness, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can lead to suicidal behaviour; however most teenagers who are bullied do not attempt suicide. Although any teenager may be a victim of abuse, LGBTQ youth are at an elevated risk of being abused.
With many teenagers being harassed, just 20 to 30 per cent of teens who are bullied mention it to an adult. Signs that your teen might be bullied include:
Come home with mysterious burns, bruises, or scratches.
To find excuses to stop studying or to resist going to school or taking a school bus.
Complaints with recurrent headaches, stomach aches or other medical problems, difficulties sleeping or frequent bad dreams.
Losing interest in school work, or unexpectedly doing a bad job at school.
Look sad, moody, teary, nervous, or depressed as they come home from college.
If you believe that your teen is being harassed, it can help to deal with the problem implicitly by worrying about friends or learning about abuse in the press. The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open and provide a supportive environment. Don't downplay the problem by asking your teen to either get over it or get tough.
Having sex with your teenager may be awkward, so it's important to make sure your teen knows the dangers of sexual intercourse, how to practice safe sex, and the value of consent. The health effects of teenage sex—pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections—may see a lifetime effect. Arming yourself with information will make a constructive discussion simpler.
Teens are at a greater risk of developing a sexually transmitted infection than older adults.10 An estimated one-fifth of all HIV infections are young adults between 13 and 24 years of age and half of all confirmed STIs occur in those 15 to 24 years of age. In comparison, 46% of sexually active teenagers surveyed did not use contraceptives the last time they had sex.
Another important sexual issue to discuss with your teen is consent—a sexual conduct arrangement between the two partners. Failure to obtain the consent of a spouse can lead to legal implications. Explain the value of engagement to your child, setting expectations and loving their partners.
Make sure your kid knows that pushing someone to do things they're not willing to do or to take advantage of someone who's intoxicated or drugged is never OK. Likewise, if the teen feels stressed or awkward in a situation, it is important to speak up and leave if necessary.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and almost all nicotine addictions begin in young adults. By high school, more than two-thirds of children have used or are using tobacco products on a daily basis.
While the consumption of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products has decreased sharply over the last 25 years, the use of electronic nicotine delivery devices has risen exponentially. Vaping was originally thought to be safer than smoking cigarettes; but, a new lung condition known as e-cigarette or vaping product-associated lung injury was reported in 2019.
Underage drinking can lead to many issues, including school challenges with academics and friends, bad judgement and decision-making, legal difficulties and health problems.
It's important to have an ongoing conversation with your teen about underage drinking. Encourage a two-way dialogue with your teen and make your desires plain. Ask open-ended questions that allow your child to tell you how they feel without teaching.
Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the mind and body.
Being under the influence of alcohol impairs coordination and slows down the response time.
Drinking impairs perception, perception, and judgement that can drive you to do things that you wouldn't be sober for.
People sometimes misconstrue how affected they feel after drinking alcohol.
It takes between two and three hours for a single drink to get out of your system.
Alcohol affects young people differently than adults and can contribute to long-lasting intellectual symptoms of still-ripening brains.
While most parents don't want their teenagers to drink, it's important to keep channels of communication open, particularly when it comes to drunk driving. Emphasize your adolescent that they can never get behind the wheel after drinking, or get into a car with a driver who's been drinking. Let them know that if they need a lift, they can still call you, no questions asked.
Eating disorders also arise first in puberty. Sometimes mistaken as lifestyle decisions, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are actually severe and often deadly conditions that change eating habits, feelings and emotions.
Both sexes can develop eating disorders, but rates in girls are higher than in boys. If your child appears to be preoccupied with food, their weight, and the appearance of their body, it may be a symptom of eating disorder. Some symptoms to be noted include:
Frequently walk on the scale or take body measurements
Restriction of dietary consumption
Extreme weight gain or weight loss
Spend more time in the shower to put out after meals or to take laxatives or diuretics.
Chronic sore throat, hoarse voice, or swollen neck glands caused by vomiting
Sneaking or feeding in silence
Eating big portions really quickly
Anxiety, sadness, and attitude swing
It's not hard to find drugs, and occasionally it might feel like everyone's taking them—or wanting you to try them. But as for something that sounds too good to be real, there are downsides (and dangers) to substance use.
Because of the way these medications function in the brain, they affect the capacity to make good choices and judgments. Even alcohol makes you more likely to be embroiled in dangerous circumstances, such as driving under influence or getting casual intercourse.
Although drugs can feel good at first, they can do a lot of damage to the body and brain. Drinking beer, smoking or consuming cigarettes, taking illicit drugs, and sniffing glue all damage to the human body.
There are various forms of opioid abuse therapy available. The two major categories are therapeutic (helping an individual alter behavior) and pharmacological (treating a person by using medicine).