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The Teen’s Secret Message

The Teen’s Secret Message


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

The peer pressure to drink – or get into some other kind of trouble – can be tough on a teen. But there’s a way for a teen with a mobile phone to slip out of those uncomfortable situations. It involves a parent, a secret code and a phone call.

At HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Dr. George Askew says it works like this: The teen texts a secret code – something agreed-upon by the teen and the parents – to a parent. The parent responds immediately with a phone call.  For the teen, Askew says:

“It gives you a way out that says, `Well, my mom just called. I was supposed to do something, I have to go run and do that, but I will catch up with you guys later.”

Askew says it’s something parents can talk about with their teens – for instance, as part of a broader conversation about teen drinking.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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