Adolescence is a critical stage of development during which physical, intellectual, emotional, and psychological changes occur. While adolescence is a relatively healthy period of life, adolescents begin to make lifestyle choices and establish behaviors that affect both their current and future health. During this transition from childhood to adulthood, serious health and safety issues such as motor vehicle crashes, violence, substance use, and risky sexual behaviors can adversely affect adolescents and young adults. Parents have an important role in helping their adolescents stay healthy, but there are other influences on the choices adolescents make. Of the 42 million U.S. adolescents, age 10-19 years, 91% are enrolled in school, making schools and academic institutions an ideal place to foster lifelong healthy behaviors. Other community level interventions can also make the healthy choice the easy choice.
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