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Wishek Hospital

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Monday
Apr142014

teen health

Teenagers represent nearly 22.75% of our counties populations.  On top of hormone changes, sports injuries, and growth spurts, teenagers are more prone to take a hit from some of our society's destructive practices. STD's and unwanted pregnancies, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use, self harm and suicide, and eating disorders are listed as today's biggest health risks for teenagers. Kay Rau, one of WHC's PA-Cs, shares her professional take on teen health.  


How would you say teen health issues in our rural areas compare to larger cities? 

"The teen issues that had been considered an issue for larger urban areas are now becoming issues for rural areas as well. With communication and travel allowing our teenagers to have a much larger social circle, the health risks listed as a concern for the United States in general are now issues in our small communities. We don’t see the large numbers that are present in the larger clinics, but the numbers are becoming more prominent and the issues more serious."

What is your advice for teens to maintain their health as they approach adulthood?  

"The teenage years are such a busy time. Teenagers are involved in so many extracurricular activities that it leaves them little time to think about their health. There is a lot of pressure for those involved in sports and other thing (like) church, community activities, and socializing. All of this means less sleep and less time to eat well-balanced meals. Teens that have concerns about their health or any issue that is causing them anxiety are encouraged to visit with a provider so the issue can be addressed. Any issue spoken of in the provider’s office is confidential and will not be spoken of with others." 

What is your advice to parents to help their teenager establish good health habits?  

"Parents need to take an active part in their teen’s life. Encourage healthy eating and make sure there are healthy snacks in the home. Be aware of mood changes and keep communication open."

Other resources for teens and their parents regarding maintaining good health:

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