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Tag Archive | "teens"

Four tire tips for teen drivers


(BPT) – Getting a driver’s license is a pivotal moment for many teens, and with the privilege of driving comes greater freedom and independence. For parents, this can be both a moment of great pride and overwhelming anxiety.

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that drivers 19-years-old and younger were more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions than any other driver on the road. According to NHTSA, teens are three times more likely to get into an accident than drivers over the age of 20.

It’s not surprising that teen drivers fall into a higher collision risk category given their inexperience. Additionally, teens are more likely to speed, text, drive without a seat belt and they typically maintain a closer following distance than more seasoned drivers.

“Taking the time to talk to teens about their driving practices can help prevent accidents,” says Bob Abram, product planning manager for Yokohama Tire Corporation, maker of a variety of truck and car tires. “Teaching teens about proper vehicle maintenance, especially tires, is also important and often overlooked.”

Abram says tire maintenance is crucial because tires have an enormous effect on braking, steering, comfort and handling. “Unfortunately, tires are not always top-of-mind when it comes to routine vehicle upkeep. When tires are inflated appropriately and wheel alignment adjusted correctly, the driver has better control. Improper alignment causes uneven tread wear and reduces the life of a tire.”

Underinflated tires can also increase the stopping distance of a vehicle, warns Abram. “Taking care of your tires properly can help prevent skidding, aid in emergency stops and traffic avoidance maneuvers, as well as provide more traction on wet roads.”

Abram reiterates that parents should teach teens about tire care to optimize vehicle control and maximize safety. Here are a few of his rules of thumb concerning tire care:

  • Tires must be replaced before the tread wears down below 2/32 of an inch. A quick and easy tread test involves placing a penny into the grooves of the tire. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, the tires should be replaced.
  • Check tire pressure at least once a month. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or placard on driver’s door to determine proper tire pressure. Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold.
  • Alignment should be checked at least once a year or if the vehicle is pulling to one side to avoid uneven wear on tire tread. Tire balance should also be monitored.
  • Regular rotation of tires promotes even wearing of tread. Tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

For more tire care and safety tips visit www.yokohamatire.com or www.rma.org.

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Mental health tips for parents of teens and young adults


(StatePoint) If you are the parent of an older child or teen, you may not think about his or her day-to-day medical needs as often as you did during early childhood. But older kids also are dependent on you, especially when it comes to emotional health and wellness.

“Life transitions, romantic situations, stress and exposure to drugs and alcohol are just a few of the challenges facing teens and young adults,” says James Perrin, MD, FAAP, 2014 President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “As a parent, you can help ease these transitions and encourage positive choices.”

May, which is Mental Health Month, is a good time to take stock of your child’s emotional well-being. The AAP offers these tips for parents to foster good mental health:

• At each new stage in your child`s life, be extra vigilant for signals that he needs extra support. Be ready to provide it.

• Check in often and keep the lines of communication open. If your child is away at college or has moved out, speak regularly by phone. Children should know that they can talk to you about anything. Be committed to broaching tough topics. Talk about your own experiences and fears when you were an adolescent.

• If your teen has a mental health diagnosis, he or she will need extra support. Pediatricians, school counselors and mental health professionals are important resources.

• Watch for mental health red flags, such as excessive sleeping, personality shifts, excessive moodiness, noticeable weight loss or gain, excessive secrecy or signs of self-harm.

• Don’t skip the annual physical. Not only are teens still on a vaccination schedule, but check-ups are a crucial opportunity to talk to your pediatrician about any concerns, as well as diagnose any potential physical and mental health issues. It’s also a great time for teens to seek confidential advice.

• Safeguard your home against prescription drug abuse by keeping your own medications locked. According to the AAP, prescription drug misuse by adolescents is second only to marijuana and alcohol misuse. The most commonly abused prescription drugs include Vicodin and Xanax.

• Provide logistical support for young adults like completing health forms and physicals for college; setting up accommodations at school if they have a mental health diagnosis; finding physicians to care for their adult needs; and signing up for health insurance. Your pediatrician’s office can help.

• Help limit teens’ stress. Don’t encourage them to take on excessive time-consuming extra-curricular activities. Avoid comparing your children. Every child has his own strengths.

• Encourage habits that reduce stress and promote physical and mental health, such as a well-balanced diet, getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and regular exercise.

• At this age, it’s important for parents to arm their older children with coping skills that will serve them throughout life, rather than handling everything for them.

More health tips for parents of older children, teens and young adults can be found at www.HealthyChildren.org.

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