10 Troublesome Teen Trends

I have taken this list right from the Consumer Reports
Health online site.  I find the trends have become much
more worrisome than the teen trends of years past.
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It’s not easy being a parent of teens these days. Previously
rational children transform into moody, unreasonable creatures
whose need to shock is only surpassed by their efforts to fit in.

Add a measure of impulsiveness and experimentalism, and it’s
no wonder risky behavior skyrockets during these years. What
a parent can do is to keep the lines of communication open,
stay informed of the health dangers of some of the most
common trends, and keep their fingers crossed.

(I would say that communication begins right from the time they
can talk.  Don’t lie to your children about anything no matter
how small you think it is.  Some things they don’t need to know
depending on their age and that is all you need to tell them.)

Here’s a roundup of 10 troublesome trends, some old and
some new, that your teen may be exposed to this school year:

1. Biting and cutting and sucking blood (Chilling)
Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, there’s a vampire movement
afoot thanks to the glamorous portrayal of teen vampires on the
Twilight series and The Vampire Diaries and the popularity of
HBO’s True Blood. Besides the serious bacterial dangers of
human bites, it can be a mode of HIV transmission that’s not
covered in most sex ed classes.

2. Circle lenses/decorative contact lenses
A look made popular by Lady Gaga and YouTube, circle lenses
create a big doe-eyed appearance and have become popular
among teenage girls. Illegal to sell without a prescription, but
easily bought online, doctors are concerned about risks of blinding
infections and damage to the cornea.

3. ADHD prescription drug abuse
The same drugs being used to treat attention deficit disorder
are being freely shared by some teens on college campuses
and high schools to give them an edge at preparing for exams.
Not only is the stigma gone, but kids who have the prescriptions
are the go-to favorites during finals. If your child uses ADHD
drugs, warn him or her against sharing. If your child doesn’t,
make it clear that these are serious medications with side
effects, not study aids.

4. Tobacco escalation products
Many teens are convinced that, unlike cigarettes, smoking a
hookah or using chewing tobacco is not harmful. In fact,
hookahs do use tobacco (referred to as Massel) which comes in
a wide variety of flavors—including apple, strawberry, and
coconut—intended to create a “graduation strategy” so that
kids get hooked by starting them with milder tasting, more flavored
substances. This trick is also used with a product called “Snus“,
a non-chew, no-spit oral tobacco that’s also available in variety of
sweet and fruity flavors. Also increasingly popular with teens,
using Snus lets them stay under the radar at school and still get
their nicotine fix, because it’s stuffed between the lip and the
gum.  Make sure your teens know that these products have their
own dangers, as well as leading to nicotine addiction.

(As far as I am concerned these producers should be shut down
and even put in jail.  They are no better than dope pushers.)

5. Tanorexia/Tanning salons
Even though exposure to tanning beds before the age of 30
increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75
percent, this real danger is dampened by television shows that
depict it as trendy and fashionable. One study of university
students found that more than 90 percent of tanning-bed users
know about the risks of premature aging and skin cancer but
continue to tan because they think it looks good.

6. Tattoos
Tattoos have become extremely popular among teens. Although
most states have laws prohibiting minors from getting them,
they are poorly enforced. Recent data suggest that more than
one-third of adults in the U.S. under the age of 35 now sport at
least one tattoo.  Outbreaks of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin
infections among tattoo recipients have been related to sloppy infection control practices.

And tattoos are estimated to account for more than twice as
many hepatitis C infections as injection drug use. Other
infections, including HIV, can also be contracted through
tattooing. If your kids insist on tattoos, make sure that they go
to a licensed practitioner.

7. Piercings
Besides traditional ear piercings which carry the standards risks
of  infection, allergic reactions to nickel, and scar formation, kids
are piercing other parts of their bodies, including their nose,
naval region, lips, eyebrows and tongues, as well as areas hidden
from parents, such as the nipples and genitals. Bacterial
infections are not uncommon as are risks of hepatitis,
tuberculosis, HIV and tetanus. Deformity and scarring can be
permanent. Make sure your kids are aware that needles wielded
by anyone but a health professional or certified technician can be
lethal weapons.

8. Tech use at night
Do you know what your kids are doing in their bedrooms at night?
It’s likely they’re texting their friends, chatting on Facebook, or
playing video games. The high-tech bedrooms of many teenagers,
are anything but dark and quiet. They often go to sleep listening to
their iPods, and exchange text messages late into the night. In
fact, this seems to be typical teenage behavior. No wonder they’re
tired in school. Encourage your child to make it a habit to
completely unplug well before bedtime.

9. Texting while driving
There have been reports of teens getting into serious car
accidents texting while driving because they keep their hands
and eyes on their cell phone keys, rather than the steering
wheel. The practice is widespread and getting worse. According
to a 2010 survey by AAA and Seventeen Magazine, 86 percent
of drivers, age 16-19 admit to risky driving habits, up 25% from
a 2008 survey. And those who texted, sent, on average, 23 text
messages while driving in the past month. Sixty percent of teens
say they drive while talking on their cell phones, up nine percent
from a 2008 survey.  Make sure your teen drivers have headsets
in the car so they can take needed calls and keep their hands on
the wheel.

10. Noise exposure
According to published research, about 12.5 percent of American
children between the age of 6 and 19 have measurable noise
induced hearing loss in one or both ears. Exposure to harmful
sounds can injure the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. We have
a fixed number of cochlear hair cells and they don’t regenerate,
so it’s important to prevent damage in the first place to reduce
the need for a hearing aid later in life. To protect their hearing,
they should turn down the volume from headsets, televisions
and car radios, and set the top volume level on their MP3 player
to a safe level.

http://www.consumerreports.org/health

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Anything in brackets is what I have inserted as my opinion.
I will close this with some more of my opinion.  As I said
you should have discussions with your children right from the
time they can talk.  In those discussions they should be learning
who the voice of authority is, you, not them.  As they grow they
will then understand that when you say no, you mean no!  Many
think that a parent shouldn’t lay a hand on a child, well to me a
couple swats on the behind with your hand goes a long way in
showing who is the boss in your home.

I would say that the reason that some parents start beating on
their children is because they have become so frustrated that
their child won’t listen, they just lose it.  A few slaps on the behind
as they are growing up just might eliminate this frustration.

Some children just do not listen and need a firm way of making
them listen.  I am totally against hitting a child anywhere but
on the behind, plus it should not be done in anger.  Though if a
young child is going to touch something that is going to harm them
a slap on the hand is not going to damage them.  Anyway, this is a
subject that needs more than a paragraph or two.

I have added this because I object to a child ‘insisting‘ they have
what ever it is that they want when the parent has said no.  If
they learn the meaning of NO when growing up, then there would
be no insisting.  I do think a parent should let their child state their
opinion and reasons for wanting something but it is up to the
parent to be mature enough to understand when something is
good for their child or not.

Patricia

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