The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recognizing International Adolescent Health Week March 20-26, 2022, and encourages all Iowans to put the health, safety, and well-being of children first every day, but especially during this week. Despite the challenges young people face today, Iowa teens are thriving:
- The percentage of 11th grade students who reported having at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days decreased from 26.4% in 2012 to 20.4% in 2018. (Iowa Youth Survey, State of Iowa Results, 2018)
- Iowa’s teen birth rates have decreased more than 50% from 2010-2020. (Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal)
- The percentage of all students in grades 6, 8, and 11, who agree they have someone they can talk to within their home, has remained relatively stable at 83.8% since 2012. (Iowa Youth Survey, State of Iowa Results, 2018)
IDPH improves the health of Iowa teens through programs such as Iowa’s Personal Responsibility Education Program and the Title V State Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program. Teens learn life skills through positive adult guidance and support, and by leading service projects in the community. There are also resources to support substance use and tobacco prevention, along with resources for youth suicide prevention.
“Iowa communities are important in setting positive examples for the safety and health of our state’s children during their development between childhood and adulthood,” said program coordinator Tina Palmer with Iowa’s Personal Responsibility Education Program at IDPH. "Young people who feel connected at home and school are less likely to experience negative health outcomes. We encourage everyone to be present, talk to your kids often, and let them know that you care about them," said Palmer.
To find tips for parents and caretakers, visit www.idph.iowa.gov/adolescent-health.