Having an adolescent son/daughter in the house is of great stress to many parents. The world today makes it even more pressurizing with abundant chances open to the individual to tread on the wrong path. Almost two-thirds of youngsters grow in countries where HIV/AIDS, unsafe sex, childhood pregnancy, road accidents, depression, self-harm and violence remain a daily threat. Pitifully all of these problems are preventable in the first place and if not, at least treatable. While government campaigns have ensured significant improvement in health in kids aged five and below there are not even a couple of them which look onto the health of young people aged between 10 and 25 years. To add fire to all this, rates of unprotected sex have reached peak ranges paving way for young pregnant females and sex-related diseases. Such unsafe sex exists as one of the major risk factors for various illnesses in individuals of this age group.
Three-most Important Causes of Death
The young blood fears none and this is evident in the case of youngsters who drive through crazy traffic on the roads at an unimaginable speed. The easy availability of foreign bikes, the increase in engine power of some bikes that surpass cars and the confidence that age gives are all green signals for such rash driving by youngsters. The ‘vroommmm’ sound of the bike disgusts many and the onlooker is often left speechless by the speed of the driver in a normal street. This indeed makes road traffic injuries the topmost reason for death of young adults aged between 15 and 29 years. Almost 29% of injury-related death are due to road traffic crashes worldwide. In 2015 alone a 1.2 million adolescents died and road injuries bore the blame for almost 1 in every 10 deaths and the affected person was mostly a male in the age group of 10-19.
The second and third leading case of death of young people include suicide and homicide. Almost 16% of injury-related deaths are due to suicide, 13% from falls, 10% from homicide and 7% from drowning. Violence and injury affect people across age groups, but youngsters become devastated by their effects. WHO states that injuries caused by violence, falls, drowning, road traffic crashes, burns and poisoning amount to almost 5 million kills every year accounting for almost 9% of the world’s death. Far worse that dying is to be left with debilitating side effects such as permanent disabilities apart from the numerous hospital trips, emergency department visits and treatment.
While adolescent death rates on the whole might be reducing deaths due to self-harm is steadily increasing on the other side. Adolescent period is a tricky one which remains quite a stressful time of life. It’s a period during which these young adults need constant support and encouragement but most countries across the world neglect the health of an adolescent. Bringing changes to the health system is only one of the four wheels of the adolescent car whose other three wheels-parents, families and communities-remain equally important for balancing this car properly and moving it forward efficiently. Depression exists as a great concern to the general public and in 2013 alone it affected more than 10% of 10 to 24-year-olds. Unattended depression can lead to sulking of the teenager who finally sees suicide as the way to escape the dread of life.
What has gone so wrong that one individual takes out his/her revenge by killing the other one? Homicide rates among adolescents and young adults is higher than any other age group and violence can harm young individuals when they are the assassin, victim or the witness. War or neck-to-neck fights are not the only form of violence but acts such as bullying, slapping or hitting can cause more emotional trauma than physical harm. Statistics say that every second student/adolescent is involved in bullying-either he/she is the perpetrator or the receiver. Help your child overcome bullying with the help of tips mentioned at the website www.firsteatright.com. Violence can cause fear among young adults making them spend less time outside being physically active, increase healthcare costs and decrease property values. Schools, parents and the community must take steps from their end to put an end to homicide as much as possible.
Young adults are the future of our country and they exist as driving forces for building a community that can thrive and flourish. It is time now to create a strong and positive difference in the lives of 10- and 18-year-old boys and girls to tap their capabilities, expand their opportunities and motivate them to succeed in the forthcoming years to do away with many of the above-mentioned problems.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.