POSTS WITH TAG: health

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    And in today's episode of Teenagers Do the Darndest Things, we have three teen boys who are going to cost taxpayers in Portland, Oregon major money: They trespassed and one decided to go and urinate in the city's reservoir. The fact that a young boy chose to relieve himself in a major, important body of water rather than, oh, I don't know, waiting and using a public toilet is reason enough to make you shake your head and wonder. Now consider the consequence of their actions: city officials are going to have to dump 38 million gallons of potentially contaminated drinking water thanks to their thoughtlessness.

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    I love hearing stories about siblings looking out for each other (it gives me hope for my own two boys!) but this kind of help is NOT what I usually have in mind. Matthew Robbins, a 32-year-old Pennsylvania man, was arrested last week and charged with endangering the welfare of a child (among other things) for “protecting” his 14-year-old sister by GIVING HER HEROIN.

     

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    A story went viral on Monday that had parents of teens worrying about something they thought they had outgrown -- fear of head lice. Commonly associated with younger children, a new “study” showed an increase in the amount of teens getting lice, and the blame was squarely pegged on the selfie phenomenon.

    The thinking was -- and I totally fell for this too, by the way -- that teens are contracting head lice at unprecedented rates because they’re so busy squeezing their heads together for group selfies to post on Instagram or Snapchat or wherever the hip place to post pics these days is.

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    Kids love sugar. This isn't exactly newsworthy, is it? But a new study reveals that the under-18 set is straying away from soda and turning instead to sweetened coffee drinks. Coffee is to blame for nearly a quarter of children's daily caffeine intake, up 10 percent from a decade ago. The study suggests that our negative attitude toward soda has a lot to do with it, while our acceptance of coffee and some of its positive and healthy attributes is contributing to their habit. And yes, I said habit. Researchers fear all of the yummy, creamy frappuccinos and chocolate chip mocha lattes could be to blame for a potential future caffeine addiction

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    Garth Callaghan isn't sure how much longer he has left to live. The 44-year-old dad has battled both kidney cancer and now prostate cancer and has been told by doctors that there's a good chance he may not survive past five years. But Garth is making every second count by doing something utterly beautiful to remind his 14-year-old daughter Emma of the incredible love he has for her: each day he leaves her napkin notes with famous inspirational phrases or original heartfelt messages. His amazingly thoughtful act isn't a new one -- dad began leaving Emma notes in her lunchbox when she was just in kindergarten. But now that he knows the time he gets to spend with his family may be limited, he has a goal: to write 826 napkin notes so that Emma would receive one note per day until the day she graduates high school. 

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    I once witnessed an adolescent attempt to snort chalk as a joke. After giving him a stern lecture and telling his mom, I just couldn't stop shaking my head and wondering, What in the hell is wrong with kids these days? Apparently, I was late to the party with this one because teens have been snorting all kinds of weird powders that aren't actual drugs -- including Smarties candies -- for years now. Some even film themselves doing it and post their videos on YouTube. The good news, or as close to good news as we're going to get, is that the latest warning against snorting Smarties is so horrifying and repulsive, it may actually get your teen to listen to you for a change. 

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    Sam Berns, the 17-year-old boy who became the face of progeria has died. Also called "the aging disease," it is a rare genetic condition that causes you to age rapidly. He was diagnoses at just 22 months old and his parents, both doctors, were intent on finding a cause and a cure for the disease and started the Progeria Research Foundation. While they didn't have their breakthrough during his lifetime, Sam himself was able to accomplish more than anyone thought possible. 

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    MTV's shows Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant have been vilified on a national stage as glorifying teen pregnancy. Mayors have said the shows can't film in their towns because of the way it "encourages" teenage pregnancy. And yet, statistics released this week reveal something else entirely: Teen Mom is actually REDUCING the number of pregnancies that are happening among teens.

    In other words: This is birth control, people. It's the best sexual education out there.

    The National Bureau of Economic Research looked at Nielsen television ratings and compared them to birth records. They found that in areas where teens watched more MTV in the period after 16 and Pregnant debuted, the teen pregnancy rate declined faster than it did in other areas where that is not true. Additionally, when the show was airing, searches for birth control online went up. Is that crazy or what?

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    How many times have you thought about entering your teen's bedroom -- the room you sweat and toil to pay for each month -- only to stop dead in your tracks because you remember that one time you walked in without knocking and caught him (or her), ugh, engaging in some quality alone time? The issue of privacy and how much of it we should give our teens suddenly becomes a major factor once they turn 13 or 14. One writer took on what can be an uncomfortable topic by penning a hilarious review of Kleenex tissues on Amazon that you must read if you're a parent -- and especially if you're raising a teenage boy

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    Family is a fluid idea. The definition of what makes up a family is constantly changing. It's also many different things to many different people. But each person's definition has one thing in common: At its best, family evokes an intense feeling of safety and love that is almost universal.

    This is something 13-year-old Alana Saarinen knows a lot about. She looks like your average teenage girl, all blond hair and lanky limbs. But something about Alana makes her different, special, in a way that other children her age are not. Alana has three biological parents. In a controversial treatment, Alana's mother and father added the mitochondria cells of a second woman during their IVF procedure to conceive Alana. 

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