Five Teenage Health Concerns
Parenting teens is challenging, as they’re riding an emotional and physical roller-coaster. Read on to know about some teen health concerns.
By Arun Sharma
Teenage is a difficult phase, as there are a lot of changes taking place within the body and mind. A teen’s health depends on proper management of both emotional and physical issues. Read on to know about some teenage concerns that parents must be aware of.
- Weight issues and eating disorders: Teenagers are very conscious about how their bodies look. To achieve the desired body shape, most teens take to dieting and develop eating disorders. Some of the symptoms of eating disorders include calorie counting, self-induced vomiting and starvation. Dieting during teenage increases the risk of increased weight gain later in life. If you think your teen is neglecting her diet and health, talk to her about how healthy eating is beneficial to the body. Involve her in preparing a diet plan to help change her perception about food.
- Smoking, alcohol and drugs: Many teens start smoking, unaware of its negative effects. Tell your teen about the adverse effects of smoking, which include bone thinning, premature ageing of the skin, increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Along with smoking, underage drinking is now a serious health problem. Research shows that those who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent later in life. Inform your teen about how drinking alcohol impairs judgement, increases the risk of sexual assault and causes accidents. Getting exposed to drugs during teenage is now a common phenomenon and many among them develop an addiction to it. There is no one particular reason why teens use drugs. But initiate a discussion with your teen to educate him about the dangers drugs can pose to his life.
- Career-choice related stress: The notion of time running out for choosing a career exerts a lot of pressure on teens. Choosing a career path is an important step and should not be done in a hurry. As a parent, you can play a vital role in guiding your teen towards making the right choice. Have meaningful career conversations with your child to help her narrow down on what she wants to choose from the many career choices available today.
- Safety: Although a teen doesn’t require the same level of care as a child, safety is still an important topic. Look for opportunities to talk to your teen about safety concerns. Remind him that he should come to you if there is something that he feels is threatening or intimidating him.
- Depression: Teenage years are filled with ups and downs. There are several factors that causes depression in teenagers like changing hormone levels, high levels of stress due to parental expectations and peer pressure. But depression in a teen can be difficult to diagnose, as they often act moody. Some of the symptoms of depression include sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, and changes in eating and sleeping habits. Watch out for these symptoms in your teen and if you feel that there is something troubling her, reach out to help her.
Teenagers need constant support and reassurance to overcome the pressures they face in their lives. Knowing what your child is doing and being by her side during times of need means fewer teenage problems.
Related video: Why is mental health important for physical well-being
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