Starting freshman year of college is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. In addition to an increased study schedule, new environments, routines and friends can be very overwhelming.
Here are a few tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to help keep your kids on the right track their freshman year:
. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – Follow a healthy eating and exercise plan. Limiting soda and caffeine intake, as well as increasing exercise like walking across campus instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and working out with a friend will help combat the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen.” Many colleges also offer a wide variety of sports and classes from crewing to modern dance.
. Manage Stress — Getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and alcohol, making friends and taking personal time are all important ways to avoid stress. If your child is feeling depressed or experiencing distress, encourage them to seek help from a medical professional. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
. Safety First — Sexually transmitted infections are preventable. Half of all new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur among young people under the age of 25. College students who are sexually active should get tested for STDs and HIV to know their status and to protect themselves and their sexual partners.
. Be Aware — One in five women have been sexually assaulted while in college. Students should know their rights, and seek help immediately if they or someone they know is the victim of violence.
. Drink Responsibly – Binge drinking accounts for 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men over a short period of time. Binge drinking increases the chances for risky sexual behavior, unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and alcohol poisoning.
. Just Say No — Substance abuse and smoking are problems among young people. In 2013, around 21% of those aged 18 to 25 years reported use of illicit drugs in the past month. Among cigarette smokers, 99% first tried smoking by the age of 26. Call 1-800-662-HELP to get help for substance abuse problems.
An open line of communication is the best way to keep your child happy, healthy and thriving while in school. Let them know you support them no matter what!
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.