Stories about: Teen Health

Ask the expert: How to handle teen’s high cholesterol

Advice from Boston Children's doctors on what to do when your teen has high cholesterol

Our pediatrician checked our teenager’s cholesterol and it came back high. What should we do?

Anxious parents

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended routine cholesterol screening for all young people ages 9-11 and 17-21 years. Since then, we have seen many more young people screened for cholesterol problems, although overall screening rates remain low. Cholesterol is an important part of heart health, along with having a healthy diet, exercise, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and avoiding all tobacco products. When doctors check cholesterol, it is important to think about all of these healthy heart factors.

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Ask the Mediatrician: How do I know if my tween has gaming disorder?

Does your tween have a gaming disorder?

I’m concerned about my son’s gaming. As soon as he comes home from school, he games online until we have to force him to eat dinner, then he returns to gaming and we have another battle before bed. This behavior has only been happening for the past 3 months, but already his grades have dropped and I’ve noticed that he hangs out with fewer of his school friends. Does he have gaming disorder, and if so, does he need to detox like an addict?

~ Disorder or Disrespect, Georgia

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Martha Eliot Health Center: Teaching youth to be community leaders

Students from the Martha Eliot Health Center pose in front of the mural they created.

When the students of the Mildred C. Hailey Youth Community Leadership Institute at Martha Eliot Health Center learned they were going to be painting a mural, they were initially intimidated.

“Some were thinking ‘I can’t draw!’ or ‘I don’t know if I can do this,” says Alysha Noel, community resource coordinator at Martha Eliot and co-facilitator of the institute, along with Samantha Montaño from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). But, after working with a local artist to brainstorm ideas and practice, the youth quickly gained confidence. “After drawing their section on the wall, they were like ‘OK, I’m ready to draw something else now,’” says Noel with a laugh. “It was great to see them take initiative and control over the project.”

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Teens and discipline: Too old for time-out

Mother disciplines teen boy on couch

When we think of discipline, we tend to think of young children. We tend to think about tantrums, about teaching them to be polite and tell the truth and not fight with their siblings and other children. We don’t think as much about teens.

But teens need discipline too, just as much. In some ways, they need it more: not only do they need to learn how to behave responsibly as adults, but the stakes are higher. It’s one thing when you fall off a jungle gym, and quite another when you drink and drive.

The kind of discipline teens need is similar to the discipline you’ve (hopefully) used since they were small, but needs to take into account that they are on the cusp of independence. Here are four tips for disciplining teens:

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