According to the WHO, interpersonal violence is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents. However, they specified that the prominence varies depending on the world regions.
Violence or the physical act of intending to hurt someone is one of the most common adolescent health issues in the Philippines.
In fact, among the participants of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility Sex Survey (YAFSS), 17% have experienced violence in the past year. And 23% of the participants, aged 15 to 24 years old, have been “aggressors of violence”.
Additionally, in an Epidemiological Survey by UNICEF in 2016, 80% of the Filipino participants aged 13 to 24 had experienced some form of violence. Although youths belonging in the 20-24 years old bracket were included in the statistics, there’s no doubt that the figures are still worrying.
What Parents Can Do
- Nurture your relationship with your adolescents. Kids naturally need adults who they can look up to for protection and guidance.
- Take actions to reduce their access to alcohol and weapons.
- Be on the lookout for signs that may indicate that your child has experienced violence or trauma. These include trouble in controlling their behavior, sleep problems, changes in appetite, and being jumpy or easily distracted by some noises.
- Participate in school programs that aim to reduce day-to-day acts of aggression.
- Monitor if your child is being cyberbullied as it can lead to violence.
Early Pregnancy and Childbirth
Another one of the most common adolescent health issues in our country is early pregnancy and childbirth.
In the Philippines, approximately 576 babies are delivered daily by teenage girls.
Early pregnancy and childbirth among adolescent girls puts their health at risk. As per WHO’s data, pregnancy and childbirth is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 years old.
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