Many people felt sad or worried during the pandemic, but teens were particularly impacted. Feeling down from time to time is normal, but when your feelings interfere with your ability to sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life, you may be depressed. No matter how alone you feel, there’s always someone you can talk to.
The Signal for Help was launched by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and became well known during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The signal, which is performed by holding one hand up with the thumb tucked into the palm, then folding the four other fingers down over the thumb, spread quickly across social media platforms. Many social media users filmed themselves demonstrating the signal, which indicates that someone is experiencing violence at home, in an unsafe situation, or in an abusive relationship. Recently, officials in Kentucky reported that they had rescued a missing underage girl from the car of a 61-year-old man after another driver saw her making the help signal and called 911. Police told media outlets that the girl had learned the hand gesture on TikTok.
While world leaders participated in the United Nations climate conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, thousands of teen activists marched through the streets. The activists marched holding signs with messages reflecting their frustration with global climate negotiations. The talks in Glasgow aim to secure national promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions, however, many teen activists feel the commitments made so far are underwhelming.
The U.N. is asking countries to halve their emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, on their way to net-zero emissions by 2050, meaning the world would release no more climate-warming gases than the amount it is simultaneously recapturing from the atmosphere. So far, the summit has made deals to try to phase out coal over the next three decades, but this is without the world’s biggest consumer, China. Some countries have also pledged to reduce deforestation and curb methane.
A new study of nearly 250,000 children in Ontario over seven years found a mother's weight before pregnancy may impact their newborn's risk of developing allergic diseases in early childhood, whereas weight gain during pregnancy did not seem to have the same effect.
A new report published in JAMA Pediatrics found that teen vaping of marijuana in North America doubled between 2013 and 2020. This indicates that teens may be trading joints, pipes, or bongs for vape pens. Researchers believe the increase may be due to the more intense high that can be achieved by cannabis oils, which contain higher levels of THC, and the misconception that vaping devices are safer than smoking.
Experts note that research shows that vaping marijuana appears worse for teens than vaping nicotine products. A separate survey by Monitoring the Future found that “teens’ lifetime cannabis vaping” use was associated with several adverse respiratory symptoms. Researchers advocate for greater investment in intervention and prevention measures, including better regulation of cannabis vaping products and bans on advertising that target young people.
Shootings involving teens have been on the rise in recent years. Experts say idleness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shares the blame with easy access to guns and disputes that can end with gunfire. The U.S. had 991 deaths among people 17 or younger in 2019 related to gun violence, according to the website Gun Violence Archive. That number spiked to 1,375 in 2020 and 2021 is on pace to be worse. The archive tracks shootings from more than 7,500 law enforcement, media, government, and commercial sources.
Studies have shown that victims of violence are at an elevated risk of becoming violent themselves. Multiple hospitals and organizations are forming programs to help. One example is St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which created its Victims of Violence program that seeks to reduce this by pairing surviving shooting victims with mentors and offering counseling, mediation, and a link to social service agencies.
Lyric Enger is a 13-year old with a passion for multiple hobbies — such as science, robotics class, and various sporting activities. She’s a member of her school’s track team and enjoys skateboarding. However, she can be sidelined from some of her favorite activities when she’s having a severe asthma attack.
Enger suffers from exercise-induced asthma, which has caused her to be hospitalized multiple times throughout her life. Now she is participating in a new study to help her manage asthma symptoms and maybe, one day, help future generations of asthmatic teens prevent attacks like the ones she has experienced growing up. For the study, she carries a rescue inhaler, uses devices to clear her respiratory system, wears a mask on smoky days, and uses an app to monitor her daily meds and the air quality. Enger hope her participation will help other teens with asthma live a happier and normal life.
Adolescents who had received a mental health disorder diagnosis were often excluded from the labor market and education as young adults. This particularly applied to adolescents who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or psychosis. The results were found out in a birth cohort study of people born in Finland in 1987.
A new report found that teen vaping plummeted as many U.S. students were forced to learn from home during the pandemic. While the study is still being interpreted, experts claimed the large decrease in e-cigarette use is likely real and makes sense since young people often vape socially.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 11 percent of high school students and less than 3 percent of middle school students said they used vaping products recently. That is about a 40 percent drop from last year. If true, it would be the second big drop in a row, from a peak of 28 percent of high schoolers using vape products in 2019.
Young people who are repeatedly bullied by siblings are more likely to suffer from poor mental health and wellbeing issues later in adolescence, a new study has suggested.
With schools back in session, some teens are suffering from “social jet lag.” In the sleep world, this is a term used to describe the difference between how many hours of sleep a teen gets during the week compared to the weekend. For many teens, sleeping later on the weekends than weekdays is a common practice. Unfortunately, when Monday arrives their internal clock is several time zones later, leading to feeling of jet lag. Consistent sleep schedules help diminish the effect.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens should get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. Multiple studies have shown a link between a decrease in sleep duration and lower academic achievement at the middle school, high school, and college levels, as well as higher rates of absenteeism, tardiness, and a decreased readiness to learn.
While many viral TikTok challenges are fun and harmless, some are dangerous, and illegal. Recently, the “Devious Licks” challenge has led to teens committing crimes in schools. TikTok has banned the challenge after students around the U.S. have filmed themselves stealing or damaging school property. Everything from paper towel dispensers to speed limit signs to fire alarms have been taken.
Law enforcement personnel are reminding students that these filmed thefts are criminal actions which can lead to student’s arrest, suspension from school, and a possible criminal record. If you are concerned about a viral challenge, make sure to talk to a trusted adult and encourage your friends to avoid dangerous and criminal trends.
In the last two years, several states have passed bills that allow students to take days off from school when they’re dealing with stress, issues at home, or mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Teen activists have played a major role in getting these mental health days signed into law. They organized coalitions in their schools to improve mental health services and encouraged local lawmakers to sponsor the bills. In addition to allowing students to prioritize their health, mental health days can help spread awareness about mental illness and work against the stigma.
Newly published research shows that young adults who limited screen time for 48 hours immediately after suffering a concussion had a significantly shorter duration of symptoms than those who were permitted screen time.
At the end of August 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana with extreme winds and a catastrophic storm surge. According to the National Hurricane Center, Ida was an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with winds of at least 150 mph (231 kph). Hurricane Ida caused extensive damage to the area and continues to cause more damage as it moves up through the northeastern states bringing floods.
Even though some natural disasters can be prepared for, the damage and intensity of a hurricane can have a lasting impact. It is important to make a plan now, so you will know what to do, how to find the members of your family, and how to communicate during an emergency. An emergency supply kit will also help prepare you for a natural disaster.
California teen Arul Mathur came up with an invention he hopes can be used by homeowners as a tool to protect their property from wildfires. His creation is called the Fire Activated Canister Extinguisher, or F.A.C.E. The device is portable and can be set up anywhere such as a fence or front porch. The extinguisher has a glycerin bulb that bursts when it reaches a certain temperature. Once it bursts, fire retardant flows through and is dispersed in a 360-degree spread.
The profits from F.A.C.E. sales go toward donating more devices to areas where the risk of a wildfire is high. Mathur said the intent is to distribute them in a way so they can create a fire break, forming a boundary where the blazes can’t get through. Mathur hopes that other young people who are interested in engineering or design are inspired by F.A.C.E. "If you want to create change, I say just trudge on forward no matter what obstacles you face, and you’ll certainly have an impact," he said.
Among adolescents ages 10 to 14 in the U.S, the overall rate of drug use remained relatively stable in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one change was a decreased use of alcohol, but an increased use of nicotine and misuse of prescription drugs.
Drinking alcohol during adolescence to young adulthood is associated with accelerated arterial stiffening, a precursor to cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
Teenagers who use cannabis frequently may be more likely to have children born preterm, when they become parents up to twenty years later, finds a new study. The research repeatedly assessed 665 participants in a general population cohort on their tobacco and cannabis use between ages 14 to 29 years, before pregnancy.