POSTS WITH TAG: health

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    Whether they're hitting the beach, laying out in the backyard, or going to the tanning salon, many people are hell-bent on getting bronzed, consequences be damned! What's more, it seems like the younger the sun-seeker, the more invincible they think they are to the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays. Teens are especially notorious -- and have pretty much always been! -- for thinking there's no need to worry about guarding against sun damage. But new research shows that tanning poses a serious cancer risk for them, too.

    Dartmouth researchers concluded that teens who indoor tan are especially vulnerable to developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC) at a young age, according to their study set to be published in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics. Truly frightening!

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    Although sex ed in schools continues to be a hot topic of debate, how parents deal with the subject at home is a different story. Some moms have an open dialogue with their kids on the subject, while others prefer to stay mum until asked, and meanwhile, there are moms supplying their teens with condoms in an effort to encourage safe sex.

    One illustrated example: A photo of a note a mom supposedly (well, we're not 100 percent sure of its authenticity) wrote for her son, accompanied by a condom that she's encouraging him to use "if things get serious" when his girlfriend comes over. The pic has gone viral, and unsurprisingly, everyone has an opinion on just how advisable this is. Check it out ...

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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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