Preventive Health Care During Teenage

Teenage is a phase of active growth only second to that in infancy, which brings with it many health issues. The society for adolescent medicine recommends easily approachable comprehensive and high-quality health care for children in their teens.

Biologically it is defined as the physical transition marked by the onset of puberty and the termination of physical growth. Pubertal changes lead to child’s sexual maturation.

Teenagers’ concern about sexual competence along with effects of puberty related hormonal surge and natural inquisitiveness arouses an intense desire to experiment the newly acquired adult function.

Sex education

Scientific sex education including safe sex and methods of contraception is crucial for both boys as well as girls.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and unplanned pregnancy, which lead to morbidity in the years to come.

Well child care visits

The tasks of each well child care visit include disease detection, disease prevention, health promotion, and anticipatory guidance.

All adolescents should be screened for their mounting anxiety and stress, which could lead to childhood psychiatric disorders.

The health centres also provide the (opens new window)
immunizations as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics, which should be adhered to.

Health education and fostering of healthy habits

This can be achieved only by friendly discussions, best done by the parents, but children in their teens temporarily get withdrawn away from the parents. Therefore, the friendly family physician is the next best alternative. Unfortunately, adolescents usually shy away from doctor’s visits as well.

However, minimum one visit a year to the well clinic would keep a good check on the growth and development during the teens.

Please read "Growth Spurt" to know what is needed to be watched out for during great growth spurt of adolescence.

Teenage pregnancy

According to surveys over 80 percent of children under 19 years are involved in sexual activities. Approximately 25 percent of them have had their first sexual intercourse at a tender age of 14-15 years. Almost one third of them reported a feeling of peer pressure associated with sex activities.

Prevention of teen pregnancy

Programs to prevent pregnancy in adolescents are prevalent all over the world. They utilize a variety of approaches and strategies to promote responsible parenting and assist adolescents in accessing clinical services.

Recommended birth control methods

Why should pregnancy be avoided during adolescence?

  • Usually adolescent mothers have insecure relationship with the partner and their pregnancies are unplanned.

  • The outcome of teen pregnancies is full of medical complications both for the mothers and the newborns.

  • Teen pregnancy is associated with a lot of socio-economical stress on the family.

  • Pregnancy during adolescence often result in ill effects on the health of the mother and the family members including the newborn.

Teens obesity

The incidence of overweight is on the rise among children between
6 and 19 years of age.

Healthy lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle when nurtured from early age is a great savior. 
Healthy food intake together with active outdoor sports not only leads to optimal development during teens but also minimizes the chances of lasting effects of the psychological stress during adolescence.

Outdoor games contribute to teenage development:

  • Physical fitness.

  • Development of motor skills.

  • Develops leadership skills.

  • Boost self-confidence.

  • Teach the importance of team work.

  • Cultivates sportsmanship.

  • Learn to deal with success and failure.

  • Limits indulgence in social media activities, and thereby reduces the chances of associated ill effects; Facebook depression, cyber bullying, and sexting .

Sports for teenagers should be chosen as an enjoyable activity and not as a competitive target to be achieved.

Addictions

Tobacco smoking

Despite of anti tobacco smoking campaigns almost 1 in every 5 adolescents smoke, and 80 percent of them end up as regular smokers. However, if they succeed in deferring it till after the age of 20 years, then it is likely that they may never take to cigarettes smoking.

Studies show that besides the peer group influence, the single most important long term predictor of daily smoking among adolescents is whether or not their parent/s smoked.

The hazards of smoking are respiratory and non respiratory diseases, addiction to nicotine, and the associated risk of other drug use. Long-term health consequences of youth smoking are reinforced by the fact that most teenagers who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout life.

Alcohol addiction and drug abuse

All forms of substance abuse jeopardize teenagers’ scholastic achievements and consequently affects the choice of their life long profession. The society also rejects youths who are into alcohol or drugs.

All this bruises a teenage child's self-esteem and results in their maladjustment in the community at large – A disastrous situation for anyone to be in.

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