Concussions - Children and Adolescents

A concussion changes how the brain works. It can be only a bump, a jolt or a significant blow to the head or body which will cause the brain to move rapidly back and forth. Even a mild bump to the head can be serious in some cases but particularly for young people.

Symptoms can show up immediately or not until sometime later. Symptoms of concussions are: being dazed, confused or forgetful; having a headache; feeling nauseated or vomiting; problems with dizziness or balance and clumsy movements; being sensitive to noise or light; memory problems; being unconscious, even briefly; one pupil being larger than the other; feeling drowsy; having seizures or any other changes in behavior.

If a concussion is suspected, the child should immediately be pulled from the game so that an assessment from a health care professional can be obtained before the child is allowed back to play. Rest is imperative if a child or teenager has suffered a concussion. Brains take time to heal so as to avoid further complications. Until a young athlete has completely recovered from the first concussion, a second injury is more likely to occur. This should be avoided because second, and subsequent concussions take longer to heal than the first ones.

My young seven year old grandson plays soccer and loves the sport. He recently told me proudly that he had 'headed' the ball to keep it from going into the goal. He had no ill effects from this but I do believe that in a child so young, even 'heading' a ball is something to be aware of and concerned about, in spite of the fact that soccer isn't considered to be one of the rougher sports.

The International Conference on Concussion in Sports believes that when it comes to concussions in children and teens, different treatment is required. If a concussion has been identified, it is important that the child or teenager not be allowed to return to the field to play, not to go to school and definitely not to engage in cognitive activities of any kind until they are completely healed. Cognitive rest is particularly important for a successful recovery.

It is important also that children and teenagers be strictly monitored during this recovery time. There is a realization that the developing brains of young people requires special consideration. They need a longer period of rest with a more gradual return to activities than adults need.

The onus therefore, is on parents and coaches to ensure that these safeguards are heeded when it comes to children and adolescents. And it is good to remember that it is better to miss a game than to miss a whole season, or worse still, to live with lifetime consequences because of not taking the proper care when it should have been taken.

Ms. Behnish has published 'Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)', a non-fiction book detailing the difficult year following a brain injury; 'His Sins', a three generation family saga about how the actions of one person can affect future generations, and 'Life's Challenges, A Short Story Collection'.

Menstrual Migraines in Adolescents

Many adult women who suffer from chronic migraine headaches find that many, if not most of their headaches occur between 2 days before menstruation and 2-3 days after menstruation. These migraines are referred to as "menstrual" or hormonally related migraines.

Recently researchers at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital completed a study analyzing what percentage of adolescent, menstruating young women experienced "menstrual" or "hormonally" related migraines.

It was found that out of the 891 adolescent girls studied, 50% experienced a headache during their first period upon entering puberty and almost 40% of these adolescents continued to experience migraines just before or just after their periods.

These migraines are brought about by both the hormonal shifts that occur during menstruation as well as changes in blood sugar levels. They are often accompanied by PMS symptoms of bloating, breast pain, irritability, cravings, acne, poor sleep and anxiety, as well. These hormonal changes are similar to the changes in estrogen levels that occur as women are approaching menopause and in fact some women will develop migraines as they approach menopause because of these decreasing estrogen levels.

Correcting these imbalances can reduce or eliminate both migraines and many of the symptoms of PMS. Our own clinical observations indicate that addressing hormonal shifts without also balancing blood sugar levels leads to less comprehensive benefits not only regarding migraine prophylaxis but regarding the aforementioned symptoms associated with PCOS. Therefore we recommend adding to any proposed regimen, ingredients like chromium picolinate, or other insulin sensitizing ingredients, plus additional dietary fiber to prevent spiking of blood glucose levels that can often led to the precipitous drops associated with hypoglycemia.

We at MigreLief have created a safe, gentle and natural medicine for adolescent and adult women suffering from both/either menstrual/hormonally related migraines and monthly symptoms of PMS, it is called MigreLief+M. In fact, women suffering from symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) like acne, thinning hair, irregular menstrual cycles and weight gain may benefit as well. It will be available in 1-2 months.

To your good health,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.

Chief Science Officer, Akeso Health Sciences L.L.C.

For updates regarding the release of MigreLief+M for menstrual migraines in women and adolescents, please follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/migrelief#!/pages/Westlake-Village-CA/MigreLief/286430593835?ref=ts You may direct migraine health or MigreLief questions to Curt at http://www.migrelief.com/askadvisor.htm While he continues his research and development of safer, more effective medications and supplements, Curt is dedicated to helping others achieve and maintain optimal health in order to stay young and vibrant well into the later years of life!

Tips On Handling Adolescent Care Issues

One of the hardest, and most emotional periods in parenting are the adolescent care years, from the time your child reaches their pre-teen years and throughout their teen years. This is the time when their bodies begin to change, their tastes change, they discover what attracts them to others and they discover just how cruel the world can sometimes be. This will be a roller coaster time for everyone involved, and this is the time that they will need you the most, even if they will not willingly admit it.

From Pediatrician to the "Alone" Doctor

The first sign that your child is reaching the adolescent care stage is the realization that they do not need you with them at their doctor visits any more. Once they reach the age of 12, they will need a new level of medical care, far beyond just tracking their development and ensuring that they are healthy. Now is the time that they will have questions for the doctor that they may not want you to hear.

The doctor, too, may want to be able to examine your child and ask his own questions without mom hovering over it all. At this point in their lives, they need to be comfortable asking any questions they may have about puberty, depression, sex, drugs, tobacco, alcohol and birth control. Your doctor will want to evaluate their physical and mental health, whether they are having any trouble in school, and whether they feel pressured to do things that they do not want to by their friends. The only way to get honest answers is to make your child feel comfortable talking alone with them, and if there are issues, the doctor will discuss them with you later.

Keeping Diet And Obesity in Check

Starting now, it is all going to be about appearances between your child and their peers. Children can be some of the cruelest creatures on the face of this planet, and it only gets worse into the preteen and teenage years. Obesity, diet, skin care, acne, hygiene, dress and self-esteem suddenly become the high voltage issues of the day. Your job, as a parent, is to keep a level head, attitude and anger in check, and teach them as best as you can on how to do things properly.

Explain to them how good skin care habits and hygiene will help them to look their best. Explain how what they eat can affect the way they look, especially when it comes to their weight and how it can affect whether they develop acne or not. This will probably lead in, at some point, into discussions of attraction between the sexes, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and sex. Best advice we can give is to speak from the heart, and relate to them as best you can from experience.

Keeping Stress at Bay

It is important that children be socialized, participate in sports and other activities that build their self-esteem but there is a limit to everything. A growing problem, especially among teens, is over-scheduling. This can lead to your teen being stressed out, anxious and feeling pressured to succeed. Monitor their activities and be ready to act if it looks like they have taken on too much for them to handle. Praise them for their drive, but remind them that they need to think of themselves first, and their health.

Avoiding Depression

Another growing issue that parents should be aware of is teen depression. Every parent should educate themselves on the symptoms of depression: mood swings, no longer taking pleasure in things they have always enjoyed, weight loss or gain, chronic insomnia or long periods of sleeping, feelings of hopelessness or guilt, lack of concentration and a fascination with morbid subjects like death and suicide.

When it comes to this issue of adolescent care, keeping communication lines open is very important. Encourage your child to talk openly about what is troubling them, try to keep them involved in daily activities, and it may be time to consider trying counseling. Do your best to comfort, reach out, and offer your own counsel at such times. Seek advice from your family doctor, and encourage your child to talk with them as well.

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Yesterday and Today

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression. These episodes are associated with unusual shifts in mood and energy. Early onset bipolar disorder, which starts during childhood or during the teen years, may be more severe than forms that first appear in older teens and adults. Some evidence suggests that young people with the illness may have more frequent mood switches, be sick more often, and have more mixed episodes (both manic and depressive symptoms).

Yesterday

    Few experts believed that bipolar disorder could occur in childhood.
    Depression and manic-depressive illness weren't considered brain illnesses, and distinct treatments for each illness did not exist.
    Researchers could not distinguish between severe irritability and manic-depressive illness in children, which would make it possible to develop more effective treatments for each.

Today

    A large, nationally representative survey shows that at least half of all cases start before age 25.

    Some medications have been approved for treating manic-depressive illness in children and teens, and psychotherapies, such as family focused therapy, also appear to be effective in helping children to manage their symptoms.

    Children with manic-depressive illness can have co-occurring disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, or other mental disorders, in addition to bipolar disorder. Scientists and doctors now know that, while having co-occurring disorders can hinder treatment response, treating bipolar disorder can have positive effects on treatment outcomes and recovery from co-occurring disorders as well. Studies focusing on conditions that frequently co-occur and how they affect one another may lead to more targeted screening tools and interventions.

    Imaging studies are beginning to reveal brain activity patterns and connections associated with specific traits associated with children who have bipolar disorder, such as mood instability and difficulty interpreting social or emotional cues.

    Genetic research reveals genetic similarities among bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Such studies point to possible common pathways that give rise to these disorders but also highlight limitations in focusing on specific diagnoses in research. This issue has spurred a new NIMH initiative-the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project -to make sense of research findings that don't fit neatly into current diagnostic categories.

Early onset bipolar disorder can be diagnosed and treated. With effective treatment, children and adolescents can lead productive lives into adulthood. If mental illness is suspected, it is important to meet with a mental health professional for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Nutritional Health Supplements: Nutrition In The Teenage Years

Their children's teenage years fill parents with dread. The perceived view of adolescence includes late nights, puberty, rows, girlfriends or boyfriends and goodness knows what but the most significant changes, and perhaps the biggest problems, result from the major physiological changes their offspring experience.

The teenage years are of course the time during which the body grows considerably and childhood turns to adulthood. As the body undergoes such great changes, nutrition is more important than ever and it might even be a good time to consider the use of nutritional health supplements to ensure the body has the goodness it requires. All teenagers need to be properly prepared for the stresses they face.

Unfortunately another side to this stage in life involves rebellion so canny parents will teach good eating habits well in advance to ensure the health of their children. But no matter how wise their parents are, the teenagers need to understand whether what they eat is doing them good and what nutrition their bodies need.

A substance needed by teenagers is iron. In Great Britain research has shown that 27% of adolescent girls and 13% of boys in the same age range do not have sufficient iron. Teenagers are usually, and need to be, very active and iron is essential to their well-being as it is essential in ensuring the blood carries oxygen to the muscles and other important areas. The teenage brain is developing and so is under great stress and iron contributes to an effective brain function. Not only this but iron contributes significantly to the health of the immune system.

Menstruation in young women also reduces the level of iron so this needs to be understood too.

Red meat is a great source of iron but then so are bread, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables and breakfast cereals. As ever, consuming iron-rich foods in your diet is the best way to ensure the levels of this useful substance, but good quality nutritional health supplements may also be needed. Consuming the right amounts of vitamin C, either from the right foods (such as citrus fruits) or from nutritional health supplements helps the absorption of iron. Interestingly however tea should be avoided, as the tannin in tea will reduce the effectiveness of the body to take in iron so a fruit juice would be a better alternative.

The growth experienced by most teenagers means that calcium is also an essential nutrient at this time. Calcium is essential to bone development and studies have shown that the bone growth in adolescence significantly affects the strength of the skeleton in later years. The evidence shows that a little as a 5% improvement in bone mass during these important years may well lead to a 40% reduction in bone fractures in later life.

The dangers of osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease, can be greatly lessened in adult years by the correct nutrition in teenage years. Sadly however the UK National Diet And Nutrition Survey of Young People Aged 4-18 Years shows that one in four adolescents have calcium levels lower than the accepted limit for proper health; this indicates a likely bone health problem in the future.

The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and cheese although once again good nutritional health supplements could be considered.

There is never a good substitute for a healthy balanced diet and the importance of regular meals to teenagers cannot be overstated. Sadly of course the foods normally chosen by adolescents are sugar-rich and fatty food and drinks. What they need to eat for the best nutrition include lots of fruit and vegetables, starchy carbohydrates (such as rice, bread and potatoes), two servings of protein (fish, meat or eggs) and dairy products. Also important are six to eight glasses of fluid every day plus the all-important regular exercise to ensure cardiovascular health, bone growth and general fitness.

Modern influences make the teenage period even more complicated. Mass media and peer pressure leads to often unreasonable expectations and many young people use various methods to lose weight. Sadly governments have not helped by emphasizing the problem of obesity. As with adults, the 'perfect' sized person will only be achieved with a healthy, balanced diet and moderate exercise but regrettably fad diets are too common. Such unbalanced programmes can reduce the essential nutrients fed to the body and can even lead to the modern curse of eating disorders.

The main two eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia, affect 6 to 11 million Americans and 1.6 million people in Great Britain. It is generally seen as a problem affecting women but a growing number of young men seem to be suffering too. If you are a parent and you are concerned your teenager may have an eating disorder, it is important to get professional help urgently.

In reality nutrition is a very interesting subject and some parents have found a great way to ensure their children understand the need to eat correctly is to involve them in preparing and cooking food as early as possible. This gives them the opportunity to know how to look after themselves later in life and understand what a good diet looks like.

During the period of massive changes between childhood and adulthood, a person needs to have the right nutrition to set him or her up for life. There is no doubt that it is worth while getting the intake of goodness right, whether from a healthy diet or from nutritional health supplements.

Keith Braithwaite has had twenty years in and keenly observing direct selling. He is an accredited Proto-col affiliate. Other passions include personal development, painting, drawing, photography cycling, walking and the outdoors generally.

Adolescent Obesity



The population of overweight adults has now reached 1 billion, of which 300,000 are suffering from obesity. By far, WHO considers adolescent obesity to be an epidemic of global proportion. This phenomenon has affected both developed and developing countries. Obesity is considered as one of the major causes of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, certain type of cancer, and type 2 diabetes milletus. The changing diet patterns, inactive lifestyles and the absence of healthy recreational facilities in the community have been identified as the causes of adolescent obesity.

Obesity is determined through measuring the body mass index of a person, which means that the weight in kilograms is divided by the square of height in meters (kg/m2). A person is considered obese if the BMI reaches above 30 k/m2. If the BMI is more than 25k/m2 but below 30k/m2 the person is already overweight. As BMI increases, the likelihood of acquiring health related risks conversely increase. If the population of adolescent obesity continues to balloon, it is expected that more adults will be suffering from the dreadful and debilitating health effects of obesity.

Psychological and social problems are likewise adverse effects of obesity, specifically adolescent obesity. Obese adults more often than not withdrew themselves from social groups for fear of ridicule. They developed a low self-esteem because being fat or obese is considered unattractive. They are often the source of jokes among their peers. The longer they experience alienation from their age group the more they succumb to depression, which may pose another health problem. Being fat is not socially bad after all, but if this line of thinking should be supported, many adults will be suffering from depression and other health problems.

One contributing factor to the rising number of obese adults is the media. Adults are bombarded with so many information regarding lifestyle food. Quick service restaurants are mushrooming in highly urbanized cities around the globe that mostly cater to the youth sector. Dishes that are cooked with high saturated fat that is of animal based and high in sugar content are also a major factor of obesity. Young have more time spent watching televisions program or playing games with their computers than playing a more physical recreational activities.

More than anything else obese adults need support in keeping and maintaining their ideal body weight. Any weight reducing diets programs or weight loss exercise course of therapy may prove futile if not followed strictly. Support from their significant others plays a vital role to curbing obesity among them by helping them to have self-discipline in achieving their goal to become healthy and physically fit.

Milos Pesic is an expert in the field of Weight Loss and Obesity and runs a highly popular and comprehensive Obesity [http://obesity.need-to-know.net/] web site. For more articles and resources on Obesity and Weight Loss related topics, symptoms and treatments visit his site at:

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How To Avoid Being Tired During Adolescence - Know The Different Causes

The puberty stage involves so much pressure for adolescence. Teens have to juggle with so many things including their studies, club activities, part-time jobs and family. Sometimes, these demands lead adolescents to being always tired.

You know your teen is tired when he is always seeking sleep. Many teenagers are too busy during weekdays therefore they tend to compensate for the lost sleep during weekends. They sleep too much that their sleep cycles are being affected. You have to remember that sleep cycle is very important in getting energy. The least thing you want to happen is to have it disrupted. It is better for teenagers to sleep normally every day. If they cannot get enough sleep on weekdays, then it will be better if they still do not over sleep on Saturdays and Sundays.

While others have free time on weekends, there are also those adolescents who have to spend their weekends on doing part-time jobs. Others spend their weekends partying with friends. There is nothing wrong with this. However, teens always have to make sure that they still have enough time to rest. As long as they can rest enough, then doing weekend activities is fine.

Another possible cause of tiredness in adolescents is depression. Many things can be associated with depression. For instance, when people think too negatively about their problems, they tend to think negatively towards life as well. This negative feeling causes people to feel sad and down. As a result, they feel depressed, hopeless and less motivated. This depression not only affects their physical well-being but also their social well-being. Physically, people who are depressed are weak and tired because they constantly deprive themselves of good sleep. Because of thinking too much about their problems, it's difficult for them to relax and fall asleep. Socially speaking, teenagers who are constantly depressed fail to mingle well with their peers. Because they feel down, they feel less motivated and enthusiastic about hanging out with people they know. As a result, they are drawn to being isolated from people within their age bracket. In worst cases, some teenagers become shut-ins. They tend to shut themselves in their comfort zone and they become too afraid to meet people. This leads to physical tiredness because of inactivity and mental tiredness because of mental and social issues.

The last cause of tiredness in adolescents that we are going to discuss is health issue. A teenager is most energetic if his body is in good shape. If the body is experiencing some medical problems, then this can cause the body to perform poorly and become weak. For instance, when a person has anemia, the amount of iron in the body is less. Without the right amount of iron, a person feels tired because the red blood cells are not able to keep nutrients and oxygen well. Iron helps the red blood cells in keeping hemoglobin, the red pigment that stores important substances in cells to be transported to organ systems. Other diseases such as diabetes and sleep apnea can also cause tiredness.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Mental Health Is Important

Mental health is how people think, feel, and act as they face life's situations. It affects how people handle stress, relate to one another, and make decisions. Mental health influences the ways individuals look at themselves, their lives, and others in their lives. Like physical health, mental health is important at every stage of life.

All aspects of our lives are affected by our mental health. Caring for and protecting our children is an obligation and is critical to their daily lives and their independence.

Children and Adolescents Can Have Serious Mental Health Problems
Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence, and even suicide. Untreated mental health disorders can be very costly to families, communities, and the health care system.

In this fact sheet, "Mental Health Problems" for children and adolescents refers to the range of all diagnosable emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. They include depression, attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time.
"Serious Emotional Disturbances" for children and adolescents refers to the above disorders when they severely disrupt daily functioning in home, school, or community. Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in every 10 young people at any given time.

Mental Health Disorders Are More Common in Young People than Many Realize.

Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10, or about 6 million people, have a serious emotional disturbance.

The Causes Are Complicated

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are caused mostly by biology and environment. Examples of biological causes are genetics, chemical imbalances in the body, or damage to the central nervous system, such as a head injury. Many environmental factors also put young people at risk for developing mental health disorders. Examples include:

Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead;
Exposure to violence, such as witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, drive-by shootings, muggings, or other disasters; Stress related to chronic poverty, discrimination, or other serious hardships; and
The loss of important people through death, divorce, or broken relationships.

Signs of Mental Health Disorders Can Signal a Need for Help

Children and adolescents with mental health issues need to get help as soon as possible. A variety of signs may point to mental health disorders or serious emotional disturbances in children or adolescents. Pay attention if a child or adolescent you know has any of these warning signs:

A child or adolescent is troubled by feeling:

Sad and hopeless for no reason, and these feelings do not go away. Very angry most of the time and crying a lot or overreacting to things.

Worthless or guilty often.

Anxious or worried often.

Unable to get over a loss or death of someone important.
Extremely fearful or having unexplained fears.

Constantly concerned about physical problems or physical appearance.

Frightened that his or her mind either is controlled or is out of control.

A child or adolescent experiences big changes, such as:

Showing declining performance in school.

Losing interest in things once enjoyed.

Experiencing unexplained changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone all the time.

Daydreaming too much and not completing tasks.

Feeling life is too hard to handle.

Hearing voices that cannot be explained.

Experiencing suicidal thoughts.

A child or adolescent experiences:

Poor concentration and is unable to think straight or make up his or her mind.

An inability to sit still or focus attention.
Worry about being harmed, hurting others, or doing something "bad".

A need to wash, clean things, or perform certain routines hundreds of times a day, in order to avoid an unsubstantiated danger.

Racing thoughts that are almost too fast to follow.
Persistent nightmares.

A child or adolescent behaves in ways that cause problems, such as:

Using alcohol or other drugs.

Eating large amounts of food and then purging, or abusing laxatives, to avoid weight gain.

Dieting and/or exercising obsessively.

Violating the rights of others or constantly breaking the law without regard for other people.

Setting fires.

Doing things that can be life threatening.

Killing animals.

Comprehensive Services through Systems of Care Can Help
Some children diagnosed with severe mental health disorders may be eligible for comprehensive and community-based services through systems of care. Systems of care help children with serious emotional disturbances and their families cope with the challenges of difficult mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. To learn more about systems of care, call the National Mental Health Information Center at 1-800-789-2647, and request fact sheets on systems of care and serious emotional disturbances, or visit the Center's web site at

http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov

Finding the Right Services Is Critical

To find the right services for their children, families can do the following:

Get accurate information from hotlines, libraries, or other sources.

Seek referrals from professionals.

Ask questions about treatments and services.

Talk to other families in their communities.

Find family network organizations.

It is critical that people who are not satisfied with the mental health care they receive discuss their concerns with providers, ask for information, and seek help from other sources.

Important Messages About Child and Adolescent Mental Health:

Every child's mental health is important.

Many children have mental health problems.

These problems are real, painful, and can be severe.

Mental health problems can be recognized and treated.

Caring families and communities working together can help.

Information is available; call 1-800-789-2647.

This is one of many fact sheets on children's mental health disorders. All the fact sheets listed below are written in an easy-to-read style. Families, caretakers, and media professionals may find them helpful when looking for information about mental health disorders. For free copies, call 1-800-789-2647, or visit http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov

With Much Love,

Arthur Buchanan

President/CEO

Out of Darkness & Into the Light

43 Oakwood Ave. Suite 1012

Huron Ohio, 44839

567-219-0994 (cell)

http://www.out-of-darkness.com

They are calling Arthur Buchanan's methods of recovering from mental illness REVOLUTIONARY! (MEDICAL COLLEGE OF MICHIGAN) 'Arthur Buchanan has given us a revolutionary blue print for recovery in these uncertain times, when Mental Illness at a all time high in the United States of America, yet if you follow this young mans methods, we assure you of positive results and I QUOTE 'If these methods are followed precisely, their is no way you can't see positive results with whatever illness you have' -Dr. Herbert Palos Detroit, Michigan

Anterior Knee Pain in Adolescents

Chronic pain occurring in the front and center of the knee can be common among active, healthy young female adolescents. While the condition can affect young boys, it is more prominent in girls. The cause for the pain in the anterior portion of the knee may not be known, but the complex anatomy of the knee joint makes it more sensitive and susceptible to activity, training, and overuse.

Pressure may have a tendency to pull the kneecap sideways due to overuse or activity, attributing to the pain just behind the kneecap. In adolescents a number of factors may be involved.

· Imbalance of thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings) that support the knee joint

· Overdoing sports activities

· Poor flexibility

· Problems with alignment of the legs between the hips and the ankles

· Using improper sports training techniques or equipment

Symptoms in Adolescents

Most adolescents report that the pain in the anterior portion of the knee is gradual, but over time can occur at all hours of the day or night. If you suffer from this condition you may experience these common symptoms:

· Popping or crackling sounds in the knee when you climb stairs or stand up and walk after prolonged sitting.

· Pain at night.

· Pain during activities that repeatedly bend the knee (i.e., jumping, squatting, running, and other exercise, especially involving weight-lifting).

· Pain that causes your knees to give way (buckle), although this is uncommon

· Pain related to a change in activity level or intensity, playing surface, or equipment.

If the pain persists and limits regular daily activities, the thigh muscle may weaken due to lack of use. If the knee pain is lasting, it is important to see your doctor right away to diagnose the cause of the pain and administer treatment.

Treatment and Prevention of Knee Pain

If the pain is mild, but not severe enough to seek medical treatment, you may follow steps for conservative at-home care. Ice, rest, and simple exercises are often helpful for adolescents with pain just behind the kneecap. If the pain persists, a visit to the doctor may be required. Your doctor may offer non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to assist with the painful episodes.

If the pain goes away through conservative treatment at home, but you have concerns about it returning, you may be able to prevent recurrences by following these steps:

· Limit the total number of miles you run in training and competition.

· Stop or reduce any activity that used to hurt your knees.

· Wear shoes appropriate to your activities.

· Warm up with stretching exercises before physical activity.

Nutritional Diet Supplements: Keeping Adolescents Healthy

The modern adolescent is more overweight and obese now than at anytime before. According to the American Obesity Association about 30.4% of teenagers are overweight and 15.5% are obese. Recent figures published in both Canada and the UK show a similar situation in those countries.

The reasons for this are numerous but the situation is caused by the lifestyle most people choose, particularly the tendency towards fast food and a lack of exercise. Sadly more knowledge about the world around us has served to make us fearful for the safety of our offspring. This means that children and teenagers are kept on a short leash and encouraged to stay indoors so good, healthy outdoor exercise is neglected. Protecting our children thus actually threatens their health.

This problem is exacerbated by the growth of recreational technology that further promotes inactivity and less time in the fresh air. In other cases, parents are less controlling and teenagers are left to make their own decisions, leading to choices made from peer pressure rather than common sense. This means the good healthy and active lifestyle is rejected in favour of a more sugar, fat and alcohol fuelled existence combined with reduced exercise. This is not what the mind and body need for optimum performance.

So what can a concerned parent do?

Teenagers tend to ignore direct instructions or suggestions so effective methods need to be more subtle. Undoubtably the most successful method is to teach them when young. Canny parents get their offspring involved in healthy eating and sport and exercise well before the adolescent years.

One important habit is for the whole family to remove unhealthy foods and drinks from its kitchen shelves. If sugar laden drinks and fatty foods are no longer easily available then any youngsters are more likely to get into healthy habits too. Having more fruit and vegetables around and creating the habit of drinking water will create an atmosphere where healthy habits seem normal.

Getting a son or daughter involved in the cooking at home really works. A normal child will be curious about foods and how nutrition is used. Make the sessions fun and learning will follow naturally. This means the hard education will be completed before the troublesome teenage years.

Equally children are more likely to get excited about sport at a younger age. The easiest activities tend to be those with a strong perceived image and have a representation in the media. Good examples are martial arts (with their links with movies and comics) and football or soccer (emulation of the skills of famous footballers can do little harm, as long as their private lives are not too turbulent!). The impending Olympic coverage gives parents the ideal opportunity to get children excited about sport.

Even if you are a parent and have not managed to interest your child in sport and exercise before adolescence it is never too late. If an activity can be seen as 'cool' or adventurous then a teenager will still be attracted to it. The important thing is to put your offspring in contact with activities that would help them lead a healthy lifestyle.

School sports are often a great way to find something in which a child might be interested. Equally doing something as a family might trigger the enthusiasm for which you work. It is certainly true that many teenage boys and girls respond to peer pressure so it would make sense for a smart parent to steer their child towards those who would provide a positive environment in a sport or activity.

Football, or soccer, tennis, cricket, athletics, Rugby or cricket clubs would provide just the right mix of enjoyment, activity, social interaction and positive influence a growing person needs. Even joining a gym would help. Often the experience is enhanced if a group of friends the same age join an appropriate organization.

Following criticism as one reason why children get little exercise, computer game companies are now responding to the need for exercise. Nintendo are the best example, producing their Wii system with the ability to play various sports by replicating the actions of the players. A wide range of activities are now represented and can be great fun for the whole family. Other computer game manufacturers have produced active games too.

Among the most popular are those where the player follows dance steps or even create their own. Obviously dancing is an excellent way to exercise and appeals to teenagers in particular.

But by far the best activities for health are those that take place outside in the fresh air. There are many activities available as part of a family activity, with a club or an organization such as the Scouts, Guides or one of the cadet forces. Mountain biking is a relatively new sport that has gained great popularity but other activities that may attract adolescents include adventure camping, hillwalking, hiking, sailing or scuba diving.

There are other benefits to outdoor sports, other than the healthy exercise it gives. Learning and experiencing a new activity will give a group of youngsters a shared experience and bind them as a group. New friends will always be made and social skills are developed.

My own experience includes hillwalking and I have seen young people arrive to an expedition shy and often with social challenges and depart at the end with new found skills and confidence. Indeed some legal bodies are experimenting with schemes to encourage problem teenagers to try outdoor activities, especially walking expeditions and yacht sailing. Putting such youngsters under mental and physical stress to achieve a shared goal means they often lose the negative influences and energies that get them into trouble.

Organized sports are not the only way to get your teenager active however. Other interests can involve healthy activity. Quite a few television programmes get people interested in gardening for example and it is possible for youngsters to get interested in horticulture by watching a parent or grandparent working in the garden, especially if encouraged to help out. In any case, a busy adolescent will be more physically active and less likely to lounge around being lazy! The skill is to get them interested and broaden their minds and their body will follow.

It may seem impossible at times to get a youngster interested in healthy habits but the right approach early enough can provide dividends throughout the rest of his or her life. There is no doubt it is worth the effort.

Keith Braithwaite has had twenty years in and keenly observing direct selling. He is an accredited Proto-col affiliate. Other passions include personal development, painting, drawing, photography cycling, walking and the outdoors generally.
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