Tag: teens

Men’s Health, Facts About Adolescence and More

Men’s Health

When it comes to prevention and early detection, men’s health often takes a back seat in comparison to women’s health. However, statistics show that men are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke, lead unhealthy lifestyles and have a shorter lifespan. So, this needs to change!

Men are more likely than women to put off routine medical check-ups and delay seeing a doctor for symptoms. Fortunately though, many health conditions are preventable or treatable if found early. The most common conditions that affect men include heart disease and testicular, prostate and colon cancer.

Mental health is another common issue that is often overlooked. Women are twice as likely as men to receive a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Yet, men make up an average of six out of every eight suicides every day in Australia. It’s just as important for men as it is for women to break down the stigma. In addition, talk to loved ones or medical professionals if you are not feeling like yourself.

It’s important to get any unusual symptoms checked out and seeing the doctor for regular check-ups. But, it’s also equally as important to eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol intake, quit smoking and exercise regularly.

Interesting Facts about Adolescence

Puberty occurs at a different time for everyone, but usually between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls, and between 9 and 14 for boys.

Most teens don’t get enough sleep. That one might be obvious, but teens need more sleep than you probably think. In fact, they need about eight to 10 hours per night to function best.

Social media and mobile phone usage has increased drastically over the last few years. In 2012, only 41 per cent of teenagers had a smartphone, compared to 89 per cent of teens in 2018.

Migraine Stick from Mario’s Range

Mario’s Migraine Stick blends a beautiful combination of three 100% essential oils which include Bergamot, Peppermint and Vetiver. These three oils are traditionally used in aromatherapy to relieve stress, tension and pain. Jojoba oil is present in this blend, meaning its light texture is perfect for you to use on facial skin along with other benefits. The Migraine Stick has been packaged so you can carry it on you at all times, for use whenever you feel a pesky headache coming on. To use, simply rub a small amount of the combination into the temples. Available at Calanna Wholehealth Pharmacies.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.





Let’s Talk Teen Hygiene – Tweens and Teens September 2020

Puberty brings a lot of changes with it, including body odour. This means a little bit of adjustment to the hygiene routine they may be accustomed to.

Why is hygiene important? Firstly, it’s a nice feeling to be clean. However, it’s necessary to be clean in order to function socially. Generally speaking, you expect the person you’re interacting with to be clean (whether they are a friend or a colleague), and it reduces our risk of catching disease.

The Basics

So, what does good teen hygiene look like? Generally speaking, teens should shower every day (maybe twice a day depending on the weather and their lifestyle), and wash your hair every other day. Use deodorant or antiperspirant before heading out for the day and re-apply as needed. Wear clean underwear and socks every day, and brush your teeth twice a day. Washing your face daily will (hopefully) help keep acne at a low, and some teens may also express interest in learning how to shave.

However, these are just general guidelines; your teen may need to adjust this routine to suit them. For instance, if they have dry skin, they may need to moisturise; or if they have greasy hair, they may choose to use dry shampoo to keep it looking fresh in between washes. If they have braces, they’ll have to adjust their oral hygiene routine to keep their braces clean.

Encouraging Good Hygiene

Be a Good Role Model

Start young, as children learn by observing. Be sure to practice good hygiene habits from a young age, and continue this into their teenage years.

Help Them

Your teen may still need your help, even if they don’t show it. Offer to help them if they ask for it. Show them how to use deodorant and how often, and show them how to safely shave if they show interest in learning.

Look into Skin Care

Skin care can be a tough code to crack. What works for one person may not work for another, and acne can have detrimental effects on a teen’s self-esteem. Encourage your teen to try out a variety of different routines to see what works for their skin, and consider where their skin type is oily, dry or a combination of the two. Discourage them from picking at pimples or blackheads, as this can make it worse.

It’s Different for Girls and Boys

Girls need to know how to manage their periods and how often to change their pad or tampon, and both girls and boys need to learn how to clean their genitals. It’s likely that the topic will be an awkward one for them to discuss, so remember to be prepared for any question that may come your way.





Get Sugar Savvy with the Australian Dental Association

Oral care has come a long way, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, research shows that there’s still a lot of room for improvement. There are ads and campaigns everywhere reminding us to brush twice a day, floss as often as we can, and keep the sugar content down. But these don’t seem to be achieving the results that we need. It might come as a shock to know that 53 per cent of adults only brush their teeth once a day. On top of that, 48 per cent of adults are consuming too much sugar – a combination that is wreaking havoc. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australia, and these numbers show us why.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has decided to use Dental Health Week, August 3 – 9, to shine a light on why sugar is so bad for our teeth. The ‘Get Sugar Savvy’ campaign aims to reinforce the importance of brushing, flossing, and taking charge of your oral hygiene by understanding the effects of sugar and trying to consume less of it. Dr Mikaela Chinotti, ADA’s Oral Health Promoter, says,

“We’re urging people to observe three key messages when it comes to sugar: consume no more than 6 teaspoons/24 grams of added sugar a day; choose foods with 5 grams or less per 100 grams of the food it’s in, and look out for hidden sugars in the food and drink you buy.”

“…brush for two minutes every morning and night, floss daily and see your dentist regularly. They can detect oral diseases at their earliest stage and help to prevent them from progressing – prevention is better than a cure.”

Teenagers and Sugar

Sugar – it’s delicious, we know. But Aussie teenagers are consuming over 20 teaspoons of the stuff a day. That’s THREE TIMES the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit. The culprit? Unsurprisingly, sugary beverages. It can be difficult to know just how much sugar you’re actually drinking but that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the labels. Energy drinks, soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, even mixed drinks of alcohol (we’re talking about cans of ready-to-drink mixes) can have shocking amounts of sugar in them. 

One 600ml of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar on average. That’s already over twice the recommended daily sugar amount for adults!

For parents, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what your teen is drinking. We know that as they grow up you begin to provide them with more and more freedom, and if they have a job then they can buy their own food and drinks. But with all that freedom comes the responsibility of taking care of yourself. If they don’t seem to be doing it, you should step in and kindly remind them how important it is to really care about the health of their teeth.

Kids and Sugar

Only half of Australian children aged five to six years have actually visited the dentist before the age of five. One third have had tooth decay by this age already.

Australian Dental Association recommends that your kids have their very first dental visit when the first teeth erupt into the mouth, or by the age of one years old. Leaving a child’s first dental visit until later increases the risk that they will need treatment beyond just a regular check up and clean. Additionally, only milk and water should be put into a feeding bottle, and snacks should be healthy. And of course, try not to give your child many sugary treats, no matter how much they enjoy them.

It’s important to lead by example and make sure your child is brushing their teeth for long enough, often enough. They can then go on to take great care of their teeth as a teenager and adult, preventing infections, decay, and all the negative results neglecting oral hygiene.

Don’t have a regular dentist or one who’s nearby? No problem – the ADA’s Find a Dentist (ada.org.au/findadentist) and Choosing a Dentist (ada.org.au/choosingadentist) make it so easy.

Great ADA Resources for You

Read the Label 

Sugar Maths 

Understanding Sugar 

Here you can gain a better understanding of how to break down a label so it is easy to understand and how natural vs unnatural sugar can affect your teeth.

Hidden Sugars 

Sugar can actually be called over 50 different names, making it harder to notice on food and drink labels. Find out what the common names for sugars and what to look out for on the Hidden Sugars fact sheet.

Sugar vs Teeth 

Having trouble understanding how sugar can result in tooth decay? You can learn more about it on the Sugar and its effects on teeth Fact Sheet.

Read more PakMag Heath Blogs here. 




Let’s Hang Out: Friendships in Adolescence

As your child becomes a teenager, friendships will become more important to them. They enjoy spending time with their friends and having fun, but friends become almost like a personal support group during adolescence.

Friends give teenagers a sense of belonging and security, a feeling of being valued, and a way to experiment with different identities, roles and values. Who knows, these friendships may eventually lead to their first relationship, which is another big milestone. As a parent, you want your teen to build healthy friendships they can rely on. It can be difficult to see your child struggling to make friends, or encounter problems in existing friendships.

Helping your Teen Build Friendships

Social skills – teach your teen how to have a good conversation. Get into the habit of chatting about topics they find interesting, whether it be TV shows, music or sport. Learning how to make small talk will be useful when it comes to meeting new people.

Support them – not everyone likes to socialise in the same way, so if your teen prefers to socialise over a yummy meal, during a walk or online, support that. Remind them that a good friendship takes time to develop, and show support if they are experiencing problems with their friend.

Encourage them to spend time with friends – if your child is asking to have a friend over after school, say yes. When the friend is over, be welcoming and friendly, and ensure siblings don’t barge in on them.

Get into the community – encourage your teen to volunteer or find a part-time job. Working in a place with other young employees or volunteers can help your child find friends and build job skills for the future.

Go through your own experiences – think back to your own teenage years. How did you make friends? Did you encounter any problems during those friendships? Explaining your own experiences to your teenager can give them a bit of insight.

Where to Make Friends

School – this is an obvious one. Most teenagers spend at least six hours per day at school, so it’s a great place to start.

Extracurricular activities – an after-school activity can help your teenager meet others with similar interests, whether it be dance, sports or an art class.

Clubs – many schools offer a variety of clubs, usually meeting after school or during lunch breaks. Common options include those in STEM, music or visual art. Your child’s school may also offer a yearbook committee or book club.

Online – given that they are being safe while they are online, internet friends can be great for your teen. Forums, online gaming and social media groups can help your teen find friends online.

All these sudden changes in adolescence can be just as confusing to your child as they are to you. While teens gravitate more towards their friends during their teenage years, remember that they still need you; even if they don’t necessarily show it.

Read more tweens and teens blogs here. 


Talking To Your Teen About Menstruation and Consent

Explaining Menstruation

The first period can be very scary if your teen doesn’t know what it is upon its first arrival. There is a lot to learn about periods, and it’s a good idea to have this chat sooner rather than later – seeing as most girls get their period between the ages of 10 and 15.

Explain what a period is and why it happens. It generally happens on a monthly basis, but in the first two to three years after the first period, they can be fairly irregular. Periods usually last around five days and can come with cramps and discomfort. Explain how to use pads, tampons, a cup or period panties (whichever they prefer), and give them pain killers or a heat pack if they are experiencing pain.

Modibodi are offering PakMag readers 15% off their modern, protective, leak-proof apparel, underwear and swimwear for periods and incontinence. Head to www.modibodi.com and use code PAKMAG11

The Importance of Consent

When your teen starts to show interest in relationships, talking to them about consent is not just important but necessary. It may not seem it, but there are many vital reasons as to why it’s so important.

Bring up the topic in a casual setting, such as when you are cooking dinner or driving together. Explain to your teen that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do in a relationship setting, whether that be kissing or being intimate, if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Everyone has a choice in whether or not they’d like to engage, and they have every right to say no.

Reiterate with your teen that consent is a two-way street, and it may not always be in the form of saying “no”. Tell them to pay attention to non-verbal signs as well, such as when their partner backs off, tenses up or is too intoxicated to give consent. Be open and ready to answer questions.

For Foxes’ Sake by Row Murray

Everyone needs a sex fairy godmother – that person you can ask all the embarrassing questions. For Foxes’ Sake provides practical advice and guidance on topics as diverse as consent, body confidence and sexuality for secondary school-aged girls. It’s warm, honest, funny and accurate. Row understands what girls of today are facing and aims to arm them with self-confidence, digital smarts and self-respect. Available for sale on Amazon or www.booktopia.com.au

WIN a copy of For Foxes’ Sake by Row Murray worth $19.95! Visit www.pakmag.com.au/win for your chance to win!
*Please note that this book covers very diverse topics that may not be suitable for younger readers.



Road trips mean sitting in the car for long periods of time, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. The best way to keep tempers from rising is by keeping the little people in the backseat occupied.

Here are some games that can be played anywhere and anytime, with no need for any money spent on additional equipment.

1. The Alphabet Game

A group game that’s great for kids who know their ABC’s.

How to Play:

  • Player 1 looks around to find something visible that starts with the letter ‘A’.
  • Player 2 then searches for something else visible, that begins with the letter ‘B’.
  • This continues until you have gone through the entire alphabet.
  • For extremely tricky letters like ‘Q’ and ‘Z’, you could use the license plates on passing cars that contain the needed letters.

2. I-Spy

This is a fairly simple game that could be played anywhere.

How to Play:

  • Decide if your spy the objects colour or the first letter of its name.
  • Pick the first ‘spy’
  • The ‘spy’ picks the object, and says the traditional “I spy with my little eye… something colour or beginning with the first letter of the objects name.”
  • Each of the players take turns in guessing at the ‘spy’s’ chosen object.
  • The first player to guess the object becomes the next ‘spy’, and the process repeats.Rock, Paper, Scissors

3. The Name Game

This is an amazing game for kids who have learned to read and can spell an assortment of different words. The difficulty of this game is dependant on the chosen category, time limit and the amounts of repeat each item said has.

How to Play:

  • Decide on the category (e.g. animals, cities, food, TV shows, etc). The time limit for each person to answer and the amount of times that an item can be repeated, if at all.
  • Player 1 says an item that belongs in the previously specified category.
  • Player 2 must then come up with a different item that fits in the same category, and starts with the last letter of the previous word.
  • This repeats for as long as you can come up with words that fit in the guidelines that you decided at the start of the game.

4. Who Am I?

This game requires some general knowledge and some deductive reasoning. The difficulty of this game depends on the chosen category.

How to Play:

  • Chose a category (e.g. celebrities, fictional characters, athletes, etc).
  • Player 1 picks a person from the agreed upon category. After they decide, they ask “Who am I?”
  • Other players take turns asking yes- or- no questions to narrow options. Player 1 will probably have to remind the other players to stick to yes-or-no questions.
  • Encourage the younger kids to ask good questions, to narrow down the option before guessing.