Early Adolescence: 12 - 14 Years Old (page 2)

— Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Updated on Jan 30, 2012

Safety First

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 12 to 14 year olds. Injuries from sports and other activities are also common.

  • Make sure your teenager knows about the importance of wearing seatbelts. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information.
  • Encourage your teenager to wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, or all-terrain vehicle.
  • Talk with your teenager about the dangers of drugs, drinking, smoking, and risky sexual activity. Ask him what he knows and thinks about these issues, and share your thoughts and feelings with him. Listen to what she says and answer her questions honestly and directly.
  • Talk with your teenager about the importance of having friends who are interested in positive activities. Encourage him to avoid peers who pressure him to make unhealthy choices.
  • Know where your teenager is and whether an adult is present. Make plans with her for when she will call you, where you can find her, and what time you expect her home.
  • Set clear rules for your teenager when he is home alone. Talk about such issues as having friends at the house; how to handle unsafe situations (emergencies, fire, drugs, sex, etc.) and homework or household tasks to complete.

Links for Parents

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has many fact sheets for parents on child and adolescent health and development.

CDC's Adolescent Reproductive Health webpage has information on teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV; the latest research, data and statistics on teen health; and evidence-based prevention programs promoting adolescent reproductive health.

CDC's Healthy Youth! webpage has information about six kinds of health behavior that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability for teenagers and adults.  Other important issues affecting children and teenagers are also addressed.

KidsHealth by the Nemours Foundation has very useful information for parents, teens, and kids.

Talk With Your Kids is a national initiative by Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation to encourage parents to talk with their children early and often about tough issues like sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse.

Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

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