Archive | February, 2015

This Week’s Teen Flaunt: Fahima Overcomes a Childhood Accident

Growing up in an insecure region of Afghanistan, Fahima was just a one-year-old when the Taliban government blasted a rocket into her home. The impact burned her face, left her without three fingers, and injured her right eye and ear. For years, Fahima struggled with the way others saw her.

In this week’s Teen Flaunt essay, the 16-year-old shares the challenges she’s faced since her accident and how she’s learned to overcome them.

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More Than Just A Snack, These Cookies Can Make A Difference

We’ll gladly accept any excuse to eat milk and cookies. But in case you’re looking for a reason to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than DoSomething.org’s latest campaign! From now until Feb. 22, teens can participate in Bake Sales for Babies to help provide supplies for babies in Syria. Encourage any young people you know to grab some cookie mix and get involved.

So what exactly is Bake Sales for Babies? This campaign raises money for warm clothing, blankets, formula, and support services for babies in Syria. Since 2011, Syria has been in turmoil.

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Energy Drinks Make Middle Schoolers Hyper & Distracted

Back in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement that kids and adolescents shouldn’t consume energy drinks. They cited potential health risks from stimulants as the reason. To see whether this statement still held true, the Yale School of Public Health led a study about the effects of energy drinks on middle schoolers from an urban school district in Connecticut.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,600 middle school students (with an average age of 12.4). Here’s what they found: students are 66 percent more likely to be hyperactive and inattentive when they consume sugary energy drinks.

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The Surprising Brain Benefits of Playing an Instrument

There are many reasons why encouraging kids to pick up an instrument could be beneficial to their lives. Music is a celebrated form of expression that fosters creativity—and most importantly, it’s fun!

A recent study shows there’s even more good news: musical training during adolescence could protect the brain by preventing decay in speech-learning skills later in life.

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Why Facebook May Be Making Teens Depressed

We’ve all seen it: Someone posts exciting news to Facebook and gets bombarded with “likes” and congratulatory comments. Whether announcing a cool, new job or showing off a cute puppy, people love to share life updates on social media. Teens may talk about being jealous of someone’s Facebook status, but how does that actually impact their mental health? Researchers decided to find out!

According to a study at the University of Missouri, Facebook use can lead to feelings of depression if the site triggers envy among users.

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Teaching Kids How to Cultivate Happiness

“I have chosen to be happy, because it is good for my health.” –Voltaire

As health teachers, we spend a great deal of our time on prevention—against injury, illness, addiction, unhealthy relationships—and much of it comes from a reactionary place… How can we stop the kids from doing things that we think could lead them to harm?

With physical health, we have specific actions to teach them. Exercise, eat real food, get lots of sleep, wash your hands, look both ways before you cross the street.

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The Texting Line Every Teen Should Know About

It’s a fact of life: At one point or another, every teen will hit a rough patch. Whether it’s failing an exam or something far more serious, hard times are inevitable. While that may sound pessimistic, it doesn’t have to be—especially when there are resources to help along the way. The Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 texting resource available for teens. Young people can text the number at any time and be connected with a trained crisis counselor.

This week’s issue of The New Yorker features an in-depth profile on the organization, which is “the first and only national, 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline to conduct its conversations exclusively by text message.” The entire article “R U There?” is definitely worth a read! Before you check that out, here’s a run-down of what you should know about the Crisis Text Line.

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