The Biggest Health Challenges Facing Youth

Young adulthood is an extremely critical period in the life of every person, as forming into an adult can be very challenging and confusing. This is because they have to deal with various problems like the change of their bodies, dealing with the range of emotions they are feeling, exploring their identity or sexuality. Hence, it is important for them to feel supported by their families and friends, in order to go through these changes more easily. 

However, it is important to bear in mind that this is a period when young adults are more likely to experiment with risky behaviors, despite good parenting. This is when they become more likely to experiment with alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, have unprotected sex, or to form some other sort of risky behavior, just in order to appear more mature or “cool” in front of their friends. However, this sort of behavior brings along some health risks, and here are which ones.

Automobile Accidents

According to researches, teenagers have higher riskers of getting injured or dying in a car accident, than any other age group, not only that, but car accidents are the number one cause of teen death in the States.

Exactly for those reasons, it is important to explain all types of behavior which can lead to such a tragedy. It is also important to warn them not to drink while driving, to wear a seat belt, to respect speed limits, and to have someone experienced with them, while they are still inexperienced. Explaining that the teens will help them understand why safe driving is important, and what they can do to prevent a tragedy from happening.

Risks of having unprotected sex

Although it can be awkward for both parents and children, it is important to explain early the risks of having unprotected sex to teenagers, as most people become sexually active during adolescence. 

One of the first things that should be explained to them, is the possibility of getting some sort of sexually transmitted diseases, if having unprotected sex, as teens have a higher risk of contracting it, than adults. Also, there is a risk of pregnancy. Although the number of teen pregnancies is decreasing, it is still important to state that this is a possible consequence of having unprotected sex. Providing them with facts will help them realize how important it is to be careful and have protection and also the importance of consent.

Eating Disorders

Although they are often ignored, and not taken seriously, eating disorders are a very serious health problem. Eating disorders often first develop adolescence, and unlike popular belief, they can be developed by both sexes. 

Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and obesity and they are serious illnesses that change eating behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. So, if an adolescent seems preoccupied with their weight, the shape of their body, or some other sign that might be indicating they have some sort of eating disorder, it is important to show understanding and seek professional help.

Substance use

It is no secret that products like alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are more available to young people than ever before. They can easily get any of these products by using a fake id; however, they might not understand the consequences of using them. 

Tobacco use is the main cause of preventable death in the states, and almost all nicotine addictions start in the age of adolescence. Moreover, drinking may lead to various problems, such as difficulties at school, bad judgment, and decision making, even getting into legal troubles, and the most important, serious health problems. And lastly, various substance use can lead to serious health problems and addiction.


Although we avoid talking about this topic, as it is hard and painful, and often awakens shame, it is important to speak about it, as it is the second-leading cause of death among adolescents. Some of the factors that may lead to this are loneliness, depression, bullying, problems at home, and substance abuse. Hence, it is important to recognize some warning signs of suicide, and show those experiencing such thoughts that they are not alone, as adolescents who have good communication with parents, teachers, or some other adult who could help them, are less likely to commit suicide. 

As mentioned, adolescence can be a challenging time for both parents, and teens. As the teens are growing, they are seeking more independence, and are spending more time with their friends, so it becomes more difficult to control their behavior and point them in the right direction, as they are trying to act like adults. However, it is crucial to establish open communication with them in order for them to feel supported when they come to their parents with some problem, so they can get help when needed, and prevent some of the things listed above, from happening.

“The 10 Biggest Teen Health Risks“ verywellhealth [Online] Available at: [Accessed on: 22 Sep 2020]

Download Our App

Transform Your Mental Well-Being