Highlights from the January issue of Paediatrics & Child Health, published this week and focused on adolescent health. Paediatrics & Child Health, the journal of the Canadian Paediatric Society, is published 10 times a year and reaches 15,500 paediatricians, family doctors and other child health care providers. The studies cited here do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the CPS.

Sex and sexual health: A survey of Canadian youth and mothers

Authors surveyed adolescents and their mothers about sexuality to determine Canadian adolescents' knowledge and sources of sexual health information and to understand the perceptions and role of parents in sexual health education. The study found that most adolescents are responsible when it comes to sexuality, but that they do identify barriers to getting information. The authors say parents should feel more comfortable when discussing sexuality with their teens, and that health care providers and teachers can ensure that teens are getting accurate information.

The tired teen: A review of the assessment and management of the adolescent with sleepiness and fatigue

Up to 40 per cent of healthy teens experience regular sleepiness, caused mostly by lifestyle issues such as too little sleep. Excessive sleepiness in teens can be serious causing poor school performance, mood disturbance and increased risk of accidents, particularly motor vehicle crashes. The article provides recommendations for managing symptoms and helping teens make the lifestyle changes necessary for recovery. This issue of the journal also includes an information sheet for teens: Teens and sleep: Why you need it and how to get enough.

CPS position statement: Harm Reduction: An approach to reducing risky health behaviours in adolescents

Adolescence is a time of experimentation and risk-taking in behaviours can have negative outcomes. In a new statement, the CPS Adolescent Health Committee urges health care practitioners to use a harm reduction approach with their adolescent patients. It recommends screening all preadolescent and adolescent patients for potentially risky behaviours, such as use of alcohol or engaging in sexual activity, at regular health care visits and encouraging them to wait before engaging in these potentially harmful activities. It advises health care providers to avoid judgement about potentially risky behaviours because it improves their ability to educate adolescents about risk reduction.

Canadian Paediatric Society

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