The Talk: Difficult but Necessary Topics to Discuss with Your College-Aged Daughter

STDs, Eating Disorders, Alcohol ConsumptionThinkstockPhotos-98955917
You managed to get your daughter through childhood and adolescence and now it’s time to face the college years! For many, especially young women, college is scary, intimidating and a whole new world. So before she heads off to campus, sit your daughter down and discuss the difficult but necessary topics that come with being a college-aged woman.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) diagnosed each year are among people aged 15 – 24 years. Women can have long term effects of these diseases, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, tubal scarring, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.

Talk to your daughter about:
• Avoiding transmission of STDs by not having sex or only having sex with one uninfected partner.
• Importance of getting tested for STDs if sexually active.

Eating Disorders
95% of students who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can lead to serious physical and emotional problems, such as loss of menstrual cycles, weak heart, reduction in bone density, muscle loss and weakness, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

Talk to your daughter about:
• The importance of proper nutrition and a healthy diet.
• The risks of eating disorders, including chronic disease and emotional distress on her and her family.

Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the U.S. It’s more common among young adults aged 18 – 34 years. According to the CDC, about 90% of alcohol consumed by those under the age of 21 is in the form of binge drinks.

Talk to your daughter about:
• The consequences of binge drinking – unintentional injuries, sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, unintended pregnancy, chronic health conditions (high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes).
• The negative effect on her physical and emotional well-being, like anti-social, aggressive and violent behavior and mood and memory change.

The Pre-College Physical: The Most Important Exam All Year

If you have a daughter or son heading off to college soon, there is probably a lot to be done before this next phase of their life begins. Most colleges require a pre-entrance physical examination; even if your child’s doesn’t, it’s a good idea to have one. This exam offers an opportunity to check your child’s health status, to learn how to stay healthy and to plan what to do if problems arise.

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