Disease Prevention for Teens
John Mersch, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
What's involved with teen disease prevention?
The teen years are a time of growth that involves experimentation and risk taking. For some teens, the social pressures of trying to fit in can be too much. These years can be even more troubling for teens who are confronted with teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, violence, bullying, delinquency, suicide, depression, unintentional injuries, and school failure. Parents often walk a tightrope between allowing their teenager to gain some independence and helping them to deal with their feelings during this difficult and challenging time in their lives.
Teenagers recognize that they are developmentally between childhood and adulthood. Emerging cognitive abilities and social experiences lead teens to question adult values and experiment with health risk behaviors. Some behaviors threaten current health, while other behaviors may have long-term health consequences. The changes in cognitive abilities offer an opportunity to help teenagers develop attitudes and lifestyles that can enhance their health and well-being. Teen disease prevention includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, preventing injuries, and screening annually for potential health conditions that could adversely affect teenage health.
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