As a parent you think you can get a break after your child passes all the milestones of the baby, toddler and elementary school years. Then, adolescence comes along with a whole new host of issues, which includes health issues you need to be aware of and watch out for. This is especially true concerning teenagers stuck between childhood and being an adult, because they may hide or discount symptoms of health problems.
More than a third of children are now obese in the United States. Obesity leads to serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes as well as social problems among peers. Exercise is important for health, but your child’s diet is at the root of any issues with gaining weight. It is never too late to make some lifestyle changes to eat less processed foods, cut out all sugary beverages, consume dessert items in very small portions, and eat more vegetables and fruit than meats, dairy and breads/pastas.
Bulimia and anorexia are two conditions that can go unnoticed by parents for a long time. Anorexia leads to a person not eating, which then causes extreme weight loss. People suffering with bulimia will eat large quantities of food followed by feelings of extreme guilt, purging and/or fasting. Both are serious mental disorders that can lead to serious physical health issues. They should not be ignored.
Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues that may have had some subtle signs in childhood can now become more pronounced in teenagers. Professionals, such as those at Entira Family Clinics, realize that no child outgrows mental health issues, but they may become more adept at hiding the symptoms and the suffering. It is important to keep an eye out for symptoms of OCD in teens, anxiety and depression. Also, Body Dysmorphic Disorder is another concern, and it is often misdiagnosed.
Unfortunately, the developing adolescent brain has a sense of invincibility that can go awry. The number one cause of death in teens is automobile accidents. Motor vehicle accidents lead the cause of unintentional injuries and death, but other things, such as drownings, poisonings and firearm accidents are also a problem. Teenagers want to learn new things, and they are driven by peer pressure to show no fear. It is imperative to teach your children effective ways of dealing with peer pressure in situations where risky behaviors can lead to extreme detrimental consequences.
Free and open communication with your adolescent child should continually be fostered even when they enter that stage of not wanting to share information or their feelings. It is important to be patient, calm and persistent in keeping the lines of communication open and to make sure regular medical examinations are scheduled in order to protect your child’s health.