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Here we are admiring another January and another opportunity to hit refresh, to reflect, and to make changes if need be. One thing that I bring to this new year is a rock solid belief in being proactive, and through reflection, I realize that it’s time to pass that on to our two daughters, ages 11 and 10. Why wait on a disaster when you can prevent it, right? Shouldn’t everyone be empowered to do so?

As a teacher, I know sometimes we create classrooms with a one-person-in-charge mentality: me. I am the teacher. I tell you when. I tell you how. Students are taught early to be directed by their teachers, leaving little room for independent thinking.   

Children are also taught “Mother knows best,” which shows up when I see...

Good news: Your TWEEN will Like This One!

We’ve been waiting for this official announcement, and it’s here! The CDC has recommended that for 11-14 year olds, the HPV vaccine now only requires 2 injections instead of 3. And instead of getting the second injection two months after the first, the spacing should now be at least 6 months apart, but even a year apart is fine. 

Why the change? The newer vaccines, given at younger ages are producing such effective immunity that a 3rd injection isn’t necessary. This is based off of research studies that showed two doses of the HPV vaccine in younger adolescents (9-14) resulted in a similar or better immune response than three doses in 16-26 year olds.

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I recently asked a room full of 5th and 6th graders to anonymously write down what they had heard about sex from their friends or parents. Although a few wrote, “nothing,” the rest had heard plenty. 

Some of their (mostly inaccurate) reports were about “how” sex happens, “the dude touches the lady with his penis.” But most of the others reported soundbites like, “You have to use a condom” or “You can get AIDS.” Then there was one that made me want to cry, “Boys like it but girls don’t.” Do you see how much they need real sex ed?!

So if your child is beyond elementary school age, whether you think she’s old enough to know about sexually transmitted infections or not, she has probably already heard more...

This downloadable presents the most common STIs among teens in the U.S. 

Help teens understand that STIs can happen even when "sex" doesn't happen. All teens should know how to protect themselves against STIs through condom use and vaccination. And all sexually...

Answers to common questions and concerns we hear from parents about the HPV vaccine

HPV vaccination is recommended anytime between ages 9-26, but it's specifically targeted at girls AND boys ages 11-12. Many...

It’s September again and that means it’s Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.  I am trying to get the word out about ways to prevent these cancers.  Survivors of gynecologic cancers don’t always share their stories due to fear, shame, or embarrassment.

This is the silence that we have to break in order to prevent these cancers in the next generation.

I want to educate more young women to prevent unnecessary cancer deaths.  The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women have their first cancer screening at age 21 with a Pap smear and pelvic exam.  However, any woman with unusual vaginal bleeding, bleeding after intercourse, or persistent pelvic pain should see a gynecologist for further...

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and it’s also a great time to set goals for the new year. One of my goals is to get my daughter to the doctor for her HPV vaccination series.  Frankly, I had to make it a resolution because it’s so easy to find excuses for putting it off.

Just thinking about waiting at the doctor’s office makes me anxious, and with my work and my daughter’s soccer, basketball and homework duties, it’s hard to make time. But this is an important issue for our tween and teen daughters and sons, and it deserves our attention. Finding the time has been my barrier, but here are some other excuses I’ve heard.

Let met address the most common excuses, and hopefully help you resolve to protect your child...