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School's Out For The Summer, But Health Is Still Important

Posted on 17 June 2016

For many teens, the summer is a season for beach trips, first jobs, and sleeping in. However, for most parents, the summer is a time to worry about their child's activities and their health.

summer break

In fact, a National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) survey, shows that one in four parents of teens is very or extremely concerned about their teen's health during summer break. In the survey 35 percent of the parents listed heat exhaustion as their main concern. And, 75 percent of the parents said they would insist their teen wears sunscreen if they will be engaging in outdoor summer activities.

According to the results of the survey, 92 percent of parents plan on maintaining an open level of communication with their teen. They hope this will help to ensure their child has a safe summer. However, outdoor health risks are not the only issue parents face. Online safety is also a concern, with 41 percent of the parent's surveyed being very or extremely concerned about their teen's ability to make proper decisions when faced with an unsafe situation.

In addition, the survey showed that one-third of the parents surveyed believe their child should have a summer job, in order to learn responsibility and work ethic.

Here are some of the other health concerns listed by respondents.

1. 95 percent want their teens to stay healthy, active and fit during their summer break.

2. 81 percent plan to supply their teens with healthy food choices.

3. Almost 30 percent believe it is very or extremely important for their teen to visit the doctor for a summer health check-up.

4. Almost 63 percent believe it is essential for teens to receive vaccinations against infectious diseases.

5. Despite the fact that two in three parents want to keep their young teen up to date with their vaccinations, only 12 percent cite pertussis or whooping cough, as a health concern.

Children are routinely protected again whopping cough, as part of the standard vaccination schedule. However, whopping cough is currently on the rise in U.S. teens. Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the respiratory system which is highly contagious and causes severe coughing.

Childhood immunizations for whooping cough wear off five to 10 years after the last shot, which puts most teens at risk. The last whooping cough vaccination most children will receive will be when they are four to six years old. This leaves teens vulnerable to this serious disease because they are being left unprotected.

A teen who contracts whopping cough may be undiagnosed because they don't always have noticeable symptoms. This can lead to the disease spreading to the teen's friends and family members.

Whooping cough symptoms are easily disguised since they are similar to the common cold. The person may have a runny nose, mild fever, and cough. At that time, it would be difficult to detect the disease. As the symptoms progress, the cough will become more severe and will have a high-pitched "whoop", at the end. They will also experience vomiting. The severe cough can last up to 10 weeks.

When parents understand the risk, almost 92 percent agreed that their teen should receive a whooping cough booster. Luckily, in 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a booster vaccine that protects your teen against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

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