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Your Teenager - What You Need To Know

Common School Age Problems for Teenager


Updated March 27, 2011

Common School Age Problems

  • Acne: a common problem that affects most teenagers at one time or another. It is caused by oil clogging the pores in your skin. The buildup of more oil and bacteria can then cause their skin to become red and inflamed. It commonly begins during puberty, because this is a time when many hormones increase and it is these hormones that cause your skin to produce more oil. Acne is not caused by the foods that you eat (such as chocolate, soft drinks or greasy foods) or by dirt (blackheads are caused by a pigment, not dirt), and you can't catch it from someone else. It can be made worse by pinching pimples, harsh scrubbing which irritates the skin, certain cosmetics which can further block oil ducts, and emotional stress. Acne usually improves by the time you are twenty xtwenty five years old, but can be brought under control sooner with the proper measures.
  • Gynecomastia: It is not uncommon for boys to have some breast development as they are going through puberty. It usually begins as a small bump under one or both nipples, that may be tender. You should reassure your child that this breast lump is normal and should disappear within a few months or years without treatment.
  • Nosebleeds: It is common for children to have occasional nosebleeds (epistaxis). Some may even have as many as two or three each week and while they may be frightening, they very rarely cause serious problems. Nosebleeds usually occur when your child's nasal passages are dry or irritated from allergies or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Poison Ivy: is a type of contact dermatitis caused by the skin developing an allergic reaction to the oil in the leaves of poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. The rash typically occurs within a few hours to days after having contact with these plants, depending on how sensitive you are.
  • Constipation: a very common and frustrating problem in children. It is usually defined as the passage of hard and painful stools or going four or more days without a bowel movement. Constiption is most commonly caused by a diet that is low in fiber, but can also be caused by drinking too much milk (more than 16 to 24 oz/d), not drinking enough water or waiting too long to go to the bathroom. Initial treatment is increasing the amount of fluids he drinks and increasing the amount of fiber and bran in his diet. It is usually also helpful to decrease the amount of constipating foods in his diet, including cow's milk, yogurt, cheese, cooked carrots, and bananas. Stool softeners may be necessary if these steps don't work.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections: these are very common and include symptoms of a clear or green runny nose and cough and are usually caused by cold viruses. You can usally use an over the counter decongestant. Call your Pediatrician if your child has high fever, difficulty breathing or is not improving in 7-10 days
  • Vomiting: usually accompanies diarrhea as part of a viral infection. If your child starts vomiting, it is best to give them a break from eating and drinking for an hour or so and then start to give small amounts of clear liquids (1 teaspoon or tablespoon) every five or ten minutes. Once your child is able to tolerate drinking these small amounts you can increase the clear liquids to about a tablespoon every five or ten minutes and then larger amounts as tolerated and then change back to his regular diet. Call your Pediatrician if the vomit has blood in it, if it is dark green, or if your child is showing signs of dehydration (which includes not urinating in 6-8 hours, having a dry mouth and weight loss).
  • Diarrhea: a common problem and is often caused by a viral infection. Call your Pediatrician if the diarrhea has blood or pus in it, if it is not getting better in 1-2 weeks or if you see signs of dehydration (which includes not urinating in 6-8 hours, having a dry mouth and weight loss). You should continue with their regular diet, but may give 1-2 ounces of clear liquids each time that he has large diarrhea stool to prevent dehydration.
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