Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years


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GeneralHealth

Shaving? Important information that Every Parent Needs to Know

As your daughter becomes a young woman, she will be making more decisions that will affect her health. "Keeping Connected" at this time is an extremely strong protective factor in her making healthy choices. As a parent, being informed of health risks, talking to your daughter about how to prevent problems, and directing her to reliable health resources are important ways of keeping connected at this time.

When your daughter begins shaving, there is important information that every parent needs to know. There are some risks with shaving, and one of them is very serious, but all can be prevented through health education and healthy habits. As a parent you can explain to your daughter how to prevent problems and more importantly you can modal good health habits in your home.

Risks that you should know about regarding shaving include dry skin, small lacerations (remember that the skin is the body's first line of defense), and most importantly, contracting an infection (which could be as serious as Hepatitis B) from someone else.

Two key health points to teach your daughter is to:

  1. Shave in a manner that your skin stays intact.
  2. Always use your own razor and never allow anyone else to use your razor.

As a nurse practitioner working with young women and their families, I find that parents, when faced with their daughter having a serious illness will ask, "How did this happen? How did she catch this? Could have it been prevented?" We know that young women today have numerous and serious threats to their health. The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls (1997), reported: "The survey found disturbingly high rate of behaviors that can put health at risk and have potential life-long consequences." The encouraging point is unlike health threats to other age groups, these can most commonly BE PREVENTED.

Young Women should shave in a manner that skin stays intact. The first line of defense to infection is the skin. When skin is healthy and intact, one has their first defense, and a strong defense, against harmful organisms that are bacterial or viral.

Young women should always use their own razor. (and never share it with anyone else) Infections are a leading cause of health problems and death in young women. Sharing razors can lead to serious illnesses as Hepatitis B. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health states (How is Hepatitis B Spread, Oct 1999), "Sharing a toothbrush, razor, or anything else that might have blood on it can also spread the virus."

Developing healthy habits and learning to take care of yourself are the actions that your daughter can do to prevent health problems. , and the first line of defense against these infections, is intact skin.

How can parents help? Parents can help in two ways:

  1. Explain risks and prevention of health problems to your daughter.
  2. Modal healthy behaviors in the home.

One health practice you can do in your home is to assure that each person has their own razor and no one shares at any time. Even though you may assume that your family is healthy, it is the development of healthy habits that is of key importance during the time your daughter is at home. In the future she will be living with many others (for example away at school) whose health you'll not be as sure of. Healthy habits are learned better by practice than education alone.

Other ways to help:
We have a Keeping Connected Kit: Starting Shaving for parents and daughters to use together. The kit includes a parent guide that provides health information, exercises to promote problem solving, "Tips for Daughters" that lists the important points to remember, and

High quality products are included as a "starter", and these products will in some manner enhance young women's health.

These kits can be used for parents to say, "There's some important health information that you should know as you grow to be a young woman. It's important that during this time we keep connected and that you hear health information not just from the media and culture, but from me (us)."

"Keeping Connected" at this time is an extremely strong protective factor in her making healthy choices. As a parent, being informed of health risks, talking to your daughter about how to prevent problems, and directing her to reliable health resources are important ways of keeping connected at this time.

When she shaves you want to teach her two key health points:

  1. Shave in a manner that your skin stays intact.
  2. Always use your own razor and never allow anyone else to use your razor.

Your Skin: First Line of Defense
Young women today have numerous and serious threats to their health and actually to their life. The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls (1997), reported: "The survey found disturbingly high rate of behaviors that can put health at risk and have potential life-long consequences."

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health states (How is Hepatitis B Spread, Oct 1999), "Sharing a toothbrush, razor, or anything else that might have blood on it can also spread the virus."

Developing healthy habits and learning to take care of yourself are the actions that your daughter can do to prevent health problems. Infections are a leading cause of health problems and death in young women, and the first line of defense against these infections, is intact skin.

The first line of defense to infection is the skin. When skin is healthy and intact, one has their first defense, and a strong defense, against harmful organisms that are bacterial or viral. Any break in your skin makes you more vulnerable to infection, two serious examples are organisms that cause hepatitis and HIV.

Shave in a manner that skin stays intact
There are some techniques that help your skin stay intact. Products for shaving can be ordered from Programs and Products.

  1. Plan a time to shave when you can take the time to shave slowly and carefully.
  2. Prepare your skin with ample soap and warm water to soften it, during a bath or shower is ideal.
  3. Use a shaving cream on warmed skin. There are various brands for women.
  4. Use a well-designed razor with an adequately sharp blade.
  5. Prepare a position that is well lighted and where you can shave smoothly, avoiding pressing over bone or folds of skin.
  6. Apply a moisturizer after rinsing and drying.

Always use your own razor and hygiene products
The only way that you can be sure not to transfer blood borne organisms while shaving or practicing hygiene is to always use your own razor and hygiene products and never allow anyone else to use yours. You can not always tell by looking at someone, who has an infectious disease and who doesn't. As demonstrated by recent educational posters, "Which of these people are HIV positive?", you never know who is. Therefore, this health habit around shaving is very important.

Keeping connected in order to grow


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