Good — and bad — news about today’s teens

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The outcomes are in from the 2015 Nationwide Youth Danger Conduct Survey (YRBS). There’s a lot to have fun — however there are additionally some traits that oldsters, and everybody who spends time with or works with teenagers, ought to find out about.

The YRBS is a nationwide survey of highschool college students performed each two years. Greater than 15,000 college students participated within the 2015 survey. The purpose of the survey is to observe behaviors that may put the well being and security of teenagers in danger. It’s a confidential survey that permits teenagers to confess to issues they may not wish to admit to their dad and mom and academics. The extra we all know what’s going on, the extra we are able to put issues in place to maintain teenagers more healthy and safer.

Right here’s the excellent news:

  • Cigarette smoking amongst teenagers has dropped to its lowest stage for the reason that survey started in 1991. Again then, 28% smoked; in 2015, that quantity was 11%.
  • Soda consumption is down too; the share of teenagers having a number of sodas a day dropped from 27% in 2013 to twenty% in 2015.
  • Bodily combating can be the bottom it’s been since 1991; it has dropped from 42% to 23%.
  • Fewer teenagers are having intercourse. In 1991, 38% of excessive schoolers reported having had intercourse; in 2015 that quantity was 30% (down from 34% in 2013).

That is all excellent news. However there have been additionally some worrisome traits:

  • Whereas they aren’t smoking as a lot, they’re utilizing e-cigarettes extra: 24% reported utilizing one prior to now month. This might result in nicotine dependancy and different well being issues.
  • They aren’t entering into fights, however they don’t essentially really feel safer: 6% of scholars reported lacking not less than in the future of faculty prior to now month due to security issues.
  • They’re having much less intercourse, however they aren’t utilizing condoms: after going up within the late 90s and early 2000s, condom use has dropped from 63% in 2003 to 57% in 2015.
  • Not surprisingly, expertise is resulting in some dangerous habits:
    • Pc use for greater than 3 hours a day (for non-school stuff) has almost doubled, from 22% in 2003 to 42% in 2015. That’s plenty of sedentary time.
    • Amongst teenagers that drive, 42% report texting or e-mailing whereas driving prior to now month. That’s terrifying.

When you’ve got teenagers in your life, discuss to them about this survey. Discover out what they’re doing — and discuss to them about making decisions that hold them protected and wholesome, not simply now however sooner or later too. These aren’t simple conversations to have, however they’re extremely necessary. They may actually save lives.

Much more than conversations, as a society we have to work to place training, legal guidelines, companies and helps in place to make certain that we’re doing every thing doable to deal with our youth. They’re our duty, and our future.

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