Complete Guide to Teen Health


Teen HealthMost children can’t wait to reach their teen years because they think of all the freedoms they can get at that time. Once they reach their teens though, they miss the simplicity of childhood and the lack of responsibility they once had. Teenagers have to go through huge changes in their emotions, hormones, bodies and lives, and there is nothing they can do but face growing up head on. Whether you’re a teenager right now or the parent of one, you know how challenging this time can be in a person’s life.

In order to get through the overwhelming struggles that come with being a teenager, you have to be healthy from head to toe. AspiringNurse.com has compiled a list of some of the best teen health resources and facts on the web. You may use these to keep your body, mind and soul as fit as it can be.

Table of Contents

Quick Facts

  • 85% of teenagers experience acne at some point in their lives. The most common causes of acne are physical irritation, hormones, genetics, cosmetics, prescribed medications, stress, and environment. Resource: The Acne Resource Center Online
  • Studies show that alcohol kills over 6.5 times more teenagers in a year than all other illicit drugs combined. Resource: Teen Drug Abuse
  • The most common mental health problem in America is depression, with reached 1 in 5 children before they reach adulthood. 1 in 20 teens in America experience depression at any moment in time. Resource: About Teenage Depression
  • An important part of teen health is the ability eat well. This can prevent problems like obesity, iron deficiency, diabetes, and cavities. Studies from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans show that 67% of American teenagers exceed the recommendations for fat intake, and 72% of teens exceed recommendations for saturated fats intake. Comparatively, only 22.3% of students in high school actively eat fruits or vegetables more than five times a day. Resource: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Binge alcohol use rates for 2008 were as follows: 1.5% for 12-13 year olds, 6.9% for 14-15 year olds, 17.2% for 16-17 year olds, and 33.7% for 18-20 year olds. Resource: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • According to studies from 2009, over 46% of high school students have had at least one sexual partner, and sexual intercourse, and 30% of sexually active students have had four or more sex partners in their lives. Resource: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • 48% of new cases for sexually transmitted diseases each year involve people between the ages of 15 and 24. Resource: Guttmacher Institute
  • Tanning beds are 15 times stronger than natural sunlight, and they expose skin to harmful UV rays that could cause skin disease or cancer. Every day in the U.S., more than one million people use tanning booths. 70% of those people are young women and teenage girls. Resource: Medi-Smart
  • 1/2 of teenage girls and 1/3 of teenage boys exercise unhealthy behaviors to control their weight. Practices include fasting, skipping meals, vomiting, smoking cigarettes, and taking laxatives. Resource: National Eating Disorders Association
  • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a teenager should spend at least 60 minutes a day doing a physical activity. Studies in 2009 showed that only 18% of high school students abide by that recommendation. Resource: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Teenagers experiencing depression are more likely to use drugs, have sex, get into fights, steal, and run away from home when compared to teens without signs of depression. Resource: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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Bodily Health

A healthy body is one of the biggest factors in leading a healthy life as a teenager. With raging hormones and less-than-perfect meals at school, it can be tough to stay healthy during your teen years. The resources below should help you work with your situation to keep your body as nutritious as it can be.

  • Acne Control: This website is based in the UK, and it provides tips on how to treat and prevent acne. It provides support for teens with acne who may not have any friends or family members to help them through their physical and emotional struggles.
  • Body: This site is mostly designed for teenage girls and young women who are struggling to understand the changes going on with their bodies. It offers advice on general and specific topics, like hygiene, grooming, sleeping, menstrual cycles, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), pregnancy, and more.
  • Body Image: This is a section of Somazone.com, a website focused on helping teens address their physical, social, and emotional needs. This area of the site provides useful information about teens with low self esteem stemming from issues with body image. Within this site, you will find help with clothing, eating disorders, height, hair, weight, skin, and much more.
  • Body Piercings: This is a great resource for teens looking to get a body piercing. It offers opinions and suggestions from other teens about the risks and rewards of body piercing, along with information on how to find a good piercing studio in your area.
  • General Health: This is a section of TeensInCharge.org that offers general tips and information about bodily health as a whole. Here you can find articles about hair care, tanning, contacts, cavities, and more.
  • Hair Care Tips for Teens: This resource provides detailed tips about hair care, from curling to straightening and beyond. It shows how to use products, tools, and techniques to make your hair look the best it possibly can.
  • Helping Your Teen with Acne: This is a section of WebMD that provides tips for parents who have teenagers with acne. It can also be used to help actual teens get rid of pimples and prevent them from coming up in the future.
  • Skin Care and Acne: A Guide for Teens: This resource goes over the causes of acne and the most common ways to treat it. It discusses the right and wrong way to care for acne, especially when it comes to using prescription medications.
  • Teenage Dental Health: This link has information about dental care. It provides tips for dealing with and preventing cavities, braces, wisdom teeth, teeth whitening, and much more.
  • Teens and Tanning: This is an article from Medi-Smart that discusses the dangers associated with going to a tanning salon. It goes into detail about how teens can avoid being exposed to harmful UV rays.
  • Your Body: This is an overall resource for body care, and it talks about acne, tattoos, piercings, hormones, and other changes that may come about.

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Mental Health

The mind of a teenager changes just as much as the body does, and most people don’t take that into consideration. If you are having difficulties with depression, stress, anxiety, and other issues, the resources below should help you get your life back to normal.

  • About Teenage Depression: This is a website entirely devoted to teenage depression. It features statistics, symptoms, causes, prevention tips, and more. You can also find information about anxiety her.
  • Adolescent Stress and Depression: This is an article from the University of Minnesota that provides information about stress and depression for teenagers. It offers statistics, causes, solutions, and coping mechanisms to help teens reclaim their happiness.
  • Anxiety and Avoidant Disorders: This is an excerpt from Your Adolescent, a publication from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, that discusses the signals parents can watch out for when a teenager is facing anxiety problems. It talks about causes and treatments, as well as the consequences that come along with avoidant disorders.
  • Bipolar Disorder: This is a pamphlet created by the National Institute of Mental Health to inform people about the risk of bipolar disorder in children and teens. In this resource, you can learn about what bipolar disorder is and what you can do to watch for and treat it.
  • Helping Teens Cope with Stress: As the title indicates, this resource is made to help teenagers cope with stress in the world. It shows teens how to avoid meltdowns by managing their stress and conquering it. You can also find links to more stress-related resources at the bottom this site.
  • Need 2 Know – Mental Health: This resource looks into mental health as a whole. In it, you can find information about self injury, stress, weight obsession, anger management, and much more.
  • Preventing Teen Suicide: This is a short but comprehensive resource designed to help teens avoid the temptations of suicide. It provides information for depressed teens and their families.
  • Puberty101 – Mental Health: This is obviously a website devoted to issues that arise during puberty. It provides answers to frequently asked questions, and it also offers resources for teens facing child abuse, parental divorce, learning disabilities, relocation, and more.
  • Teen Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder is a common problem among teenagers that can influence the way they behave in public settings. This resource discusses the causes of social anxiety disorders and the best ways to deal with it.
  • Teen Depression: This link provides information about the warning signs, causes, and solutions for teenage depression. It also looks into the risks and rewards of using antidepressants as a teenager.
  • Your Mind: This link offers articles that delve into the mind of an average teenager. It assesses why teens go through emotional swings and what they can do to minimize the fluctuation.

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Diet and Exercise

Physical fitness is an important part of being a healthy teenager, and the habits you develop now will help you lead a healthy life as an adult. Diet and exercise are two key components to physical fitness, so you have to find food and workout routines that suit your body. Here are some resources that can guide you to a strong, healthy physique in your teen years.

  • Eating Disorders: This is a section of TeenHelp.com that goes over the many eating disorders teenagers face in school. The articles in this site look into statistic, self-image, signs, causes, treatment, and more.
  • Food and Fitness: This resource is a great foundation for body health in general. It answers common questions about a variety of topics, including exercise, weight, sports, well-being, and nutrition. The site is best known for its question and answer section, but it has links to articles, books, journals, and much more.
  • Keeping Fit: This website focuses on creative ways for teenagers to have fun and still stay fit. From dancing to skiing and beyond you can find all kinds of activities to keep your body moving as a teenager.
  • Nutrition and Fitness: This link features tons of information about fitness, nutrition, and overall teen health. It offers a special calculator to help you see what your body mass index is, and it provides a special guide to becoming a vegetarian.
  • Nutrition for Teens: This is a general resource about nutrition for teens that features stories from actual people facing actual problems. The link has a plethora of articles to read over, and you can view it in English, Spanish, or Dutch.
  • Overweight Teen: This is a website for overweight teenagers looking to get back in shape. In it, you can learn about the causes of obesity and healthy ways to get rid of weight.
  • Teens Food and Nutrition: This is a website provided by North Dakota State University to help teens learn about nutrition. You can use it to plan a healthy diet.
  • Physical Activity and Children and Adolescents: This is a special set of information offered by the Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University. It showcases research reports that identify ways to improve physical activity levels in children and young adults.
  • Sports and Nutrition:If you have ever wondered what you needed to eat to stay physically fit, this link should help you out. It provides a variety of information for athletes, overweight teens, an people just looking for natural ways to control their body weight.
  • Vegetarian Nutrition for Teenagers: This resource is specifically designed to help vegetarian teenagers get through life’s struggles, like pressure from family members or difficulties following a vegetarian lifestyle.
  • Weight Loss Central: This link helps teenagers who are struggling to control their weight. It provides nutrition and activity plans, as well as fun recipes and fitness routines.

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Drugs and Alcohol

The pressures of drugs and alcohol are prevalent for every teenager. No matter where you live or what friends you hang out with, you are bound to be tempted by these mood adjusters at some point in time. The resources below are meant to help teens fight the temptations of drugs and alcohol so they can lead a normal life.

    • Addiction and Substance Abuse: In this resource, you can find information on how to turn down drugs and alcohol, despite the peer pressure you may face as a teen. The articles in this site show just how dangerous these substances can be for underage users.
    • Alcohol Abuse: This is a special set of articles provided by the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Within it, you will find statistics about teenage drinking and drug use, along with information about how alcohol influences the brain.
    • Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Drugs: As the title indicates, this is an article about drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and the risks that come along with using them. In it, you can find information about opium, cocaine, inhalants, over the counter drugs, steroids, and more.

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  • Check Yourself: This is a place for teens to check out where they are in terms of drugs and alcohol. You can do this by taking quizzes, playing interactive decision games, reading submitted moments-of-truth, reading first-hand experiences, learning about drug information, and more interesting things.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Here are a number of valuable articles on tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and how to get healthy. Each article has subcategories and goes into further detail. For example, the tobacco section discusses secondhand smoke, smokeless tobacco, smoking and asthma, and how to quit.
  • NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse: The National Institute on Drug Abuse created this website to educate adolescents on the science behind drug abuse. The website addresses appropriate questions and concerns. It has animated illustrations, quizzes, and games to clarify concepts and test the visitor’s knowledge.
  • Not On Tobacco: N-O-T is the American Lung Association’s program for teens who want to quit smoking. It is well researched and widely used in the United States. Explore this website to learn about tobacco and its effects on a teenager’s health, and find resources to help quit smoking.
  • Parents, the Anti-Drug: This resource was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to help adults raise drug-free kids. There are useful articles and advice, science-based drug prevention information, and teen perspectives on drugs.
  • Teen Drug Abuse: This website is dedicated to educating people about why teens begin using drugs, what drugs they are using, and how these drugs affect teens physically, socially, and mentally. You will find a lot of helpful information on substance abuse, including several articles about specific drugs.
  • TeenZeen: This resource includes information on teen drug abuse and alcohol prevention information. There are numerous articles on abuse to help you learn about the effects of drugs, signs of drug usage and alcoholism, where to get help, alternatives to using, and options for substance abuse treatment.

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Sexual Health

The raging hormones of teen years make sex a highly necessary topic for teen health. Teenagers must learn how to protect themselves from STDs and unwanted pregnancies so they can enter adulthood unscathed. The resources below provide answers to some common questions about sexual health, along with insight into the statistics surrounding it.

  • Abstinence: This is a link from Advocates for Youth. It offers tips on how to remain abstinent, even when facing heavy peer pressure. The site features some general facts about sexual behavior in teenagers, along with links to other abstinence resources.
  • Birth Control Pills: A Guide for Teens: This is a guide about birth control pills, provided by the Center for Young Women’s Health. It explains what birth control pills are and how they work to prevent pregnancy. In this resource, you can learn how to get and use birth control and how effective it is with proper use.
  • I Wanna Know!: This is a website sponsored by the American Social Health Organization. It has information on a variety of teen health issues, including STDs, social pressures, puberty, and abstinence.
  • Puberty101- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: This is part of a website that delves into the emotional and physical rollercoaster of puberty. In this section, the site discusses different types of STDs, like genital herpes, syphilis, Chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, genital warts, Hepatitis B, and pubic lice (crabs).
  • Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World: This resource offers answers to common questions about sexual health, including ways to have safe sex as a teen. In it, you will find live polls and sex statistics to create a picture of teen sex health.
  • Sex, Etc.: This organization was specifically founded to help teens learn about sexual health. On the website, you can find articles about hot topics in sex, as well as an in-depth glossary of sexual health terms.
  • Sexual Health on Teen Source: Teen Source is a website to help teens in all walks of life. This section of the site talks about important issues in sexual health, including information about birth control, hook ups, STDs, and legal rights.
  • Sexuality and Sexual Health: This is an extensive resource about sexual health, containing articles, tips, answers, diagrams, and more. In it, you can find everything from oral sex to menstruation, depending on what you need to know.
  • TeensHealth – Sexual Health: This website provides information for teen health as a whole, but there is a specific section devoted to sex. This area contains information about birth control, STDs, menstruation, and puberty. Information is broken down by gender, so you can find help specifically related to your body.
  • Teens in Charge: This website offers articles and links on an assortment of teen health issues, including cervical cancer, safe sex, STDs, menstruation, breast development, and birth control. The Q&A section has a great list of common questions and answers for teen sex topics.
  • Teen Talk: This is a resource provided by Planned Parenthood, one of the leading organizations for safe sex advocacy. The Teen Talk area of the website offers information on STDs, teen pregnancy, masturbation, birth control, safe sex, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) issues.

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