Stories about: Social media and health care

6 ways to celebrate National Donate Life Month

Each year, during the month of April, National Donate Life Month draws attention to those who have saved and healed lives through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Here are six simple ways to participate, celebrate and educate.

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Become an organ donor.

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  • Register to be a donor at registerme.org.
  • Designate “organ donor” on your driver’s license.
  • Visit transplantliving.org to learn more about becoming a living donor.

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Online dating for teens? Why parents need to talk about online relationships.

Online dating is a bad idea for teens—especially young teens.

That’s why it wasn’t particularly responsible of Seventeen Magazine to publish a blog in which “dating blogger” Isabelle Furth floated the idea of using sites like Match.com to find dates. To be fair, she had concerns about the idea, and she’s in college, so theoretically old enough to make these decisions. But college kids don’t read Seventeen. Middle school students do.  And middle school students are remarkably impressionable.

However, if our only response to this blog is outrage (like the comment that Seventeen gave cyber-stalkers a gift-wrapped present), we miss the point—and some important opportunities.

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Millions of children have mental health disorders while treatment budgets shrink

When feeling stressed out by the hectic pace of modern life, it’s easy to get wistful for the carefree days of youth—when it seemed the only thing we had to worry about was getting along with the other kids in the neighborhood.

But according to a first-of-its-kind report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on childhood mental health, those days are gone or may never even have existed for a huge portion of America’s children.

Analyzing data collected over the past six years, the report shows that millions of kids—as many as one in five—are currently living with some form of mental health disorder. Attention deficit disorder is the most prevalent condition reported, affecting more than 4 million kids nationwide, but other behavioral issues such as anxiety and depression also were heavily documented, affecting 2.2 and 1.8 million children respectively.

While it’s unclear whether or not the numbers in the report mean that these conditions are really more common in kids today, or if parents, clinicians and teachers are just getting better at identifying them, the bottom line is clear: the issue of mental health disorders in American children is too big to ignore.

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How Social Media Could Change Our Understanding of Children

My youngest didn’t talk until he was 2. I knew he was fine—but it was hard to get people to believe me.

When I say that Liam didn’t talk, I really mean it. Liam said absolutely nothing until he turned 2—and then, all he said was “Mama.” Our pediatrician was concerned. Relatives were concerned. Neighbors were concerned. My other kids would say to me, “Shouldn’t Liam be talking by now?” “He’s fine,” I told them.

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