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Safe Teens - Net & Cells

Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
This post is adapted from one that first appeared on Forbes.com Facebook is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app that allows you to  share your approximate location with friends. The opt-in feature (it’s turned off by default) enables … Continue reading Continue reading

Anonymous isn’t synonymous with ominous
This post first appeared on CNET News by Larry Magid I’ve heard a lot of consternation about apps and sites that let users post anonymously and, indeed it is possible to use services like Whisper, Ask.FM, Secret, and Yik Yak … Continue reading Continue reading

Teen Health and Wellness

Teen Drinking Linked to Pop Music Alcohol References
A new study has found that exposure to song lyrics that mention specific alcohol brands leads to teen drinking. “Every year, the average adolescent is exposed to about 3,000 references to alcohol brands while listening to music,” explained study author Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh. That is about eight references to drinking every day. Researchers believe that this exposure is a form of hidden advertising for the alcohol industry. Teens exposed to the most alcohol references are three times more likely to have had a drink in their lives and twice as likely to be binge drinkers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 percent of teens binge drink, increasing their risk of alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, unsafe sex, and other dangers.

1 in 68 Young People Have Autism
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 68 young people has an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a series of developmental disorders that can impact a person’s social and communication skills and behavior. Autism is more common in males. One in 42 boys has autism, compared to 1 in 189 girls. The current rate of autism is higher than earlier studies found. Researchers think this is partially because the definition of autism has expanded and because doctors are more careful at spotting autism. 

Meditation Improves Quality of Life in Teens with Cancer
New research from the University of Montreal has found that teens with cancer can benefit from mindfulness-based meditation. A cancer diagnosis can turn a teen’s life upside down. In addition to physical symptoms, cancer can bring anxiety, depression, and other emotional challenges. Researchers found that 90 minutes of mindfulness-based meditation per week decreased rates of depression in teens with cancer. For girls, it also led to better quality of sleep. Before they turn 20, one in 300 boys and one in 333 girls with develop cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

A Teen Champion with Multiple Sclerosis
An 18-year-old track star from North Carolina is making people rethink what is possible for teens with chronic diseases. Kayla Montgomery was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) three years ago. Multiple sclerosis is an incurable autoimmune condition that harms your body’s nerves. People with MS often have difficulty with mobility, vision, and other functions. Because of her condition, Kayla’s legs go numb midway through long races. Once she stops running, she is unable to control her legs and collapses to the ground. After her diagnosis, Kayla decided she wouldn’t let MS stop her. She went from being one of the slowest on her team to winning the North Carolina state title. Today, she’s one of the nation’s fastest high school distance runners.