California Teen Invents a New Way to Detect Childhood Heart Disease

Mon, 2023-03-27 06:56
Seventeen-year-old Ellen Xu of San Diego, California, took third place in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, one of the oldest and most prestigious science awards in the United States. Her invention uses an algorithm and ordinary smartphone images to help with early detection of Kawasaki disease, an illness that can cause long-term heart complications in babies and children. There is no current test for Kawasaki disease and doctors often misdiagnose it. Xu’s early detection tool was 85 percent effective in identifying between Kawasaki and non-Kawasaki symptoms in children.

Xu’s younger sister was misdiagnosed with Kawasaki disease at age three and wasn’t officially cleared of the disease until nearly ten years later. Xu hopes her invention will help protect children and prevent other families from dealing with the stress of misdiagnosis. As she told a San Diego reporter, “Even if I could change one life, that would be super, super meaningful.”
Categories: Teen Health

Texas Teen Dies After Taking a Fentanyl-Laced Painkiller

Mon, 2023-03-20 06:53
Last month, 16-year-old Sienna Vaughn from Plano, Texas, died after taking a counterfeit pill that was contaminated with fentanyl. She and a friend bought the pills, which looked like the prescription pain reliever Percocet, from a classmate. Vaughn’s friend survived, but Vaughn experienced fentanyl poisoning and could not be revived at the hospital. Her parents are now trying to raise awareness about the massive spread of fentanyl-laced drugs in the United States. Nearly one dozen students in Texas have overdosed on fentanyl from September 2022 to March 2023.
Categories: Teen Health

New Study Says 57 Percent of Teen Girls Feel Persistently Sad or Hopeless

Mon, 2023-02-27 07:03
According to the CDC’s new Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more and more teens are experiencing poor mental health. The findings were especially high with teen girls, with nearly 3 in 5 saying they felt persistently sad or hopeless—the highest level reported over the past decade. One in three girls also said they seriously considered attempting suicide, up nearly 60 percent from a decade ago.

Self-harm is often used as a coping mechanism when people feel depressed, overwhelmed, or hopeless. People may intentionally harm their body for emotional relief, but the injuries can be severe or even life threatening. In some cases, self-harm can be a sign of suicidal thoughts or intent.

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or hopeless, help is available. Consider talking to an adult you trust, like a teacher, school nurse, or coach. You can also contact the U.S. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or Talk Suicide Canada by calling 1-833-456-4566.
Categories: Teen Health

Muscle Dysmorphia Is Increasingly Common in Canadian Boys and Young Men

Fri, 2023-02-17 14:03
A new study from the University of Toronto found that one in four Canadian boys and young men were at risk of developing muscle dysmorphia (MD). MD is a type of body dysmorphic disorder, a mental health condition where a person is dissatisfied with or spends a lot of time worrying about their physical appearance. Someone with MD is obsessed with their muscle size and definition, and may develop unhealthy eating and exercise behaviors in an attempt to change their body. Canada is also experiencing a rise in eating disorders, which have similar symptoms as MD. Researchers say this is fueled in part by unrealistic body ideals on social media, as well as a desire by some teens to adapt to “Western” body ideals.
Categories: Teen Health

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Mon, 2023-02-13 07:06
One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults. Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors that are used to exert power and control over a dating partner. It not only includes sexual or physical violence, but also stalking; emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse; and online harassment.

A healthy relationship requires open communication, safety, trust, and respect. If you learn the signs of an unhealthy relationship, you are more likely to spot it and get help—either in your own life or someone else’s.
Categories: Teen Health

USDA Proposes New School Nutrition Standards

Mon, 2023-02-06 07:01
Childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases are continuing to increase at an alarming rate, affecting every country in the world. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed major changes to make school lunches healthier. The new guidelines would reduce the amount of sugar and salt—currently there is no limit on added sugar in school lunches in the United States—include more whole grains, and encourage students to choose fat-free and low-fat milk options over flavored milks like chocolate milk. If implemented, the changes would roll out gradually, starting in fall 2024. Health officials say that making even small changes to your diet can lead to better health over time.
Categories: Teen Health

Canada's New Health Guidelines Say "No Amount" of Alcohol is Healthy

Mon, 2023-01-23 07:01
In April 2022, research published in the medical journal JAMA stated that even low levels of drinking could slightly increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Now, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has released a report warning that no amount of alcohol is safe to consume for young people or adults. “Science is evolving, and the recommendations about alcohol use need to change,” CASA says. “Drinking alcohol, even a small amount, is damaging to everyone, regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, tolerance for alcohol or lifestyle.” For young people who are under the legal drinking age, CASA says they should delay alcohol use for as long as possible, or don’t drink at all.
Categories: Teen Health

Teen Brothers Use CPR Training to Save Their Father's Life

Fri, 2023-01-13 14:19
Jackson and James Lowrey of Hermosa Beach, California, learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as part of their training to become junior lifeguards. When their father, Jim, went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious, they knew how to react and sprang into action. James, 15, immediately started CPR while Jackson, 13, called 911. Their mother, Nicola, assisted the boys with CPR until paramedics arrived. After a short stay in the hospital, Jim fully recovered. Now, the Lowrey family is encouraging everyone to learn this lifesaving procedure. Research has shown that any attempt at CPR can improve the odds of survival for someone who has a sudden loss of heart function.
Categories: Teen Health

Teen Athletes and Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Mon, 2023-01-09 07:04
Last week, fans were shocked when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was later reported that Hamlin had suffered a cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating properly. Doctors explained that, when hit with enough blunt force, at a specific point in the heartbeat cycle, a healthy heart could start beating so fast that it stops pumping blood. Dr. Comilla Sasson, an emergency medicine physician in Denver, told NBC News, “It’s not about how hard of a hit it was. It’s actually about the timing of when the blow happens.”

According to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of over 2,000 children and teens in the U.S. each year. It’s also the leading cause of death in young athletes. Although SCA can happen during freak accidents, like Hamlin’s injury, it is typically caused by undetected, preexisting heart conditions. Doctors say many young people aren’t aware that they may be at risk, so annual physical evaluations are an important way to catch heart abnormalities before they cause serious health problems.
Categories: Teen Health

Building Healthy Habits for the New Year

Tue, 2023-01-03 08:24
Many people use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to make changes. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is living healthier, but studies show that most people give up on their goals within a few months. Experts say the way to build healthy habits is to have a plan and start with small changes that you can do regularly. For example, if you want to cut back on sugary drinks, you could start by swapping one can of soda for one glass of water each day. As you get used to less sugar, it will be easier to increase the amount of water you drink and stick to your goal. Studies also show that writing down your goals can help you stay focused on what you want to achieve.
Categories: Teen Health

Vermont Teen Paints Pet Portraits to Raise Money for Local Humane Society

Mon, 2022-12-19 07:01
Thirteen-year-old Shayna Walker of Burlington, Vermont, is an artist who loves animals. She painted a few portraits of her friends’ dogs as birthday presents, and then realized she could use her talent to help her community. She offered to paint portraits of other people’s pets with the goal of raising some money for the Chittenden County Humane Society. Within hours of posting her project on social media, she had over a dozen requests and has already raised more than three hundred dollars for the animal shelter. “My goal, I think, was one hundred,” she told a Vermont news station. “It really surprised me that the first customer gave 100 dollars. I was like, ‘Already past it, that’s great!’”
Categories: Teen Health

New Study Finds "Huge" Increase in Teens Going to the ER With Suicidal Thoughts

Mon, 2022-12-12 07:02
A new study in the medical journal Pediatrics says there has been a steady increase in the number of children and teens who visited emergency departments to get help for suicidal thoughts. Visits to the ER with suicidal thoughts increased 59 percent from 2016–17 to 2019–21, and about a quarter of those visits resulted in hospital stays. Study co-author Dr. Audrey Brewer said many of the young people who were hospitalized with suicidal thoughts had other mental health problems like anxiety, depression and substance use.

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or hopeless, help is available. Consider talking to a sibling, a friend’s parent, or a teacher or school counselor. You can also contact the U.S. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or Talk Suicide Canada by calling 1-833-456-4566.
Categories: Teen Health
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