Adolescence is a pretty stressful time in anyone’s life, and we’ve all gone through it. Let me tell you, it isn’t fun, especially if you are questioning your gender identity and sexuality. According to research, teenagers are prone to more diseases and accidents because they tend to be reckless.
If you have a kid, chances are they are suffering in silence because none of us wanted to talk to our parents when we were teenagers. It is the name of the game, but you should be there for them and listen to them without any judgment. So, without further ado, let’s get into the list of some of the most significant health issues that teenagers face.
In 2019, over 1.5 million teenagers and young adults between the age of 10 to 24 died, which is almost 5000 young adults per day. However, it is essential to know that young teens between the ages of 10 to 14 have the lowest mortality rate compared to other age groups. Some of the leading causes of death for teenagers are traffic injuries, self-harm, drowning, violence and even maternal condition.
According to researchers, 50% of all mental health disorders and issues in one’s adulthood start by the age of 14, and in most of these cases, they are undetected and untreated. Across the globe, 43 out of every 1000 birth is of girls who are aged between 15 to 19.
1. Mental Health
Mental health conditions account for 16% of all diseases and injuries for people who are aged 10 to 19 globally. One of the leading causes of illness and disabilities among teenagers is depression. On top of that, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in people who are aged 15 to 19.
Some of the factors that impact one’s well-being and mental health are stigma, poverty, violence and living in fragile settings. These can lead to an increase in the development of mental health problems. If these are left unaddressed, they can extend into adulthood, and it will cause more havoc later on in one’s life.
2. HIV and STI
According to a study conducted in 2019, around 1.7 million adolescents who are aged between 10 to 19 are living with HIV. And about 90% of them are in the African region. The peak for HIV infection was in 1994 and had been slowly declining since then. Around 10% of all new adults have HIV, and about ¾ of them are girls.
People, especially adolescents who live with HIV, have worse access to antiretroviral treatments, retention in care, adherence to treatments and viral suppression. One of the most efficient ways to protect yourself from HIV or any other Sexually Transmitted Infection is by using protection, and we need to start teaching kids this.
Sex ed doesn’t increase sex rates among youth; let’s just get that clear. By providing sex ed in school, we are providing teenagers with the appropriate material and knowledge to make the right decision. By teaching them about safe sex and how to use protection, we are teaching them to practice safe sex when they decide to have it.
3. Obesity and undernutrition
Teenagers who live in developing countries tend to be undernourished, and this makes them more prone to being vulnerable to disease and early onset death. On the flip side of the coin, obesity is also another real issue when it comes to young adults in low, middle and even high-income countries. In 2019, globally, 1 in every 6 adolescents who were aged between 10 to 19 were overweight.
If you see that your kid is feeling under the weather, talk to them and don’t let them ball their emotion. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us if you want to read more about teenagers and what health issues plague their age group.