Out of most age groups, teens are the least likely to follow guidelines to protect their health. Although teens are generally healthy, the CDC warns they are more likley to engage in sexual behaviors that put them at risk for STDs and unintented pregnancy. Teen years are also a great time to schedule preventative immunizations while most of the cost is still covered by Federal Grants.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that people between 13 and 24 years old account for a quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States and nearly half of new STDs reported each year. One way to prevent HIV, STDs, and pregnancy among teens is to educate them early, and give them a safe place to ask questions about safe sex practices and STD testing.
Parents have the largest influence on their adolescent’s decisions about their sexual health, even ranking above friends! Research shows teens who have a good relationship and open communication with their parents wait longer to have sex. When they are ready, they are more likely to use contraception. In fact, 6 in 10 teens wish they could talk openly about sex with their parents. Because teens want their parent’s advice, it is important to be approachable so they feel comfortable coming to you with sexual health concerns and questions and will include you in making choices that are safe, reflect their values, and support their future goals and plans.
Research shows that teens with active fathers make better sexual health decisions. A study conducted by the Power to Decide (formally known as The National Campaign) shows the majority of young women seek the advice of their fathers over their mothers about romantic relationships and sex. The study showed that fathers did not view themselves as influential regarding their daughter’s decisions about relationships and sex. However, the research showed that young people are looking to their parents (not just mom) for advice on relationships and sex.
It is imperative that fathers be open and prepared to talk to their son or daughter about sex, love, and relationships. Click here to learn more about how dads matter!
The vaccines we use help prevent dangerous and deadly diseases, 15 to be exact. Vaccines work with the body's natural defenses by imitating an infection, however this imitation doesn't cause any actual illness. Instead the vaccine causes the immune system to develop the same response it would to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. It's a little bit like a low-key bootcamp for the body.
Another reason to vaccinate now? While your teen is 18 years and younger the cost of the vaccine is covered by the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. All you have to cover is the administrative free, 20 dollars a vaccine. When your teen turns 19 vaccines that are required for some college programs, jobs, and travel can cost several hundreds of dollars.
*Sometimes the vaccine can cause minor symptoms, like a fever. This is normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.*
E-cigarettes, vapes, e-cigs, vape sticks, vape pens, ego cigarettes, Juuls, PVs, pods, mods, cig alikes: all different names for the same device.
Just like their name, vaping devices come in all shapes and sizes.
E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.”
The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.
Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States and Idaho is number one in the nation for melanoma deaths. This cancer is entirely preventable and can be treated if you catch it early enough with a simple skin cancer screening.
Avoid using tanning beds, even to create a "base tan". Tanning beds use UV rays
Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on anyone over 6 months old. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and more frequently when you swim, sweat, or towel off. *Do not use sunscreen on babies under 6 months old!*
Wear protective clothing: a loose-fitting and long-sleeve shirt, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
Limit time outside between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest.
Seek or create shade, especially if you have noticed that your shadow is shorter than you.