Sometimes growing up can be a scary thing, and rearing a child can be scary, too. As part of my undergraduate career, I devoted a lot of my research time to family and public health issues. With the plethora of information out there, it’s difficult to discern the age-appropriate and accurate health facts. For my part, I relied heavily on many Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publications because I knew they were trustworthy and up to date.
During one of my research efforts, I came across an interesting document from the HHS Office of Women’s Health. It’s called Teen Survival Guide: Health Tips for On-The-Go Girls. I used the information in it to give a class on women’s health to several teenage girls. This guide was extremely helpful when discussing such important topics as reproductive health.
The first portion of the Survival Guide is “Taking care of your reproductive health,” which includes discussions about the body, sexually transmitted diseases, and advice on seeing your doctor. The guide also provides recommendations on personal hygiene, exercise tips, tips on healthy eating habits, adverse effects of drug usage, self-esteem and relationship counseling, and advice on future planning – all of which are very important in the life of a teenager.
This guide is very practical and includes interactive quizzes, real life questions and answers, resources related to the different topics at the end of the sections, and a glossary for many of the medical terms. The ease of interactivity allows for successful teaching of facts to a class, or even to your own child. As parents, this can be a tough topic with plenty of tough moments, so having a special guide will allow for a more neutral encounter with your child.