2/10/2017: 4 Articles You Need to Read This Week

The second week in February is nearly over, and we know you're busy--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!


1. Teenagers may return to childhood favorites to cope, but that isn't a bad thing

When teens are stressed, their coping mechanisms sometimes include returning to their childhood favorites, like Percy Jackson novels, and cartoons, like Spongebob Squarepants. Some teens also take on repetitive tasks, like ripping pieces of paper and taping it back together, to clear their minds and focus. This is all part of growing up, and learning to deal with all the neurological and hormonal changes that puberty brings. Recent research shows that taking on their own problems, known as approach-coping, allows teens to feel happier than those who avoid issues all together. Other research backs this up, proving that positive distractions help teens deal with chronic stressors. 


2. "Dripping" is the new, more dangerous version of vaping 

Teens are now putting drops of liquid nicotine directly onto the heated coils of e-cigarettes, which produces heavier nicotine clouds and a stronger hit. In a Yale study of 7,045 Connecticut teens published in the journal Pediatrics, 1,080 admitted to vaping, 282 of which took part in dripping. This dangerous practice could lead to teens inhaling more carcinogens and toxins, like formaldehyde, at higher temperatures.


3. Rural America poses challenges for teens when it comes to making a college decision

When it comes to making a college decision, students from rural areas sometimes feel trepidation. Often, they can't afford to pay for college, and other times they fear they'll be outcasts for having different beliefs. John Dunn, now at North Carolina State University, was the first of his family to graduate high school. Before heading to college, Dunn was afraid of being stereotyped as a redneck. Amanda Wahlstedt, grew up on food stamps in small-town Kentucky, and was the "token liberal" among her peer groups. Now, at Wellesley, she realizes she is more conservative on certain issues, and seeks to prove that her rural background will not hold her back.


4. Less than half of teens get flu shots and even fewer get vaccinated to protect against cervical cancer

In the 2015-2016 flu season, just 47 percent of 13-17 year olds received a flu shot. The CDC recommends striving for an 80 percent vaccination rate to help eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases. In addition, the number of teen girls getting three rounds of the HPV vaccination ranged from 24 to 68 percent, while the number of boys getting their HPV vaccinations ranged from 16 to 58 percent. Despite seemingly low turnouts, teen vaccination levels are at historic highs, and the disease these vaccines prevent are at historic lows. 


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