By Denise Bodart, RealCare Product Manager
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Stop while you’re ahead.” You’ve undoubtedly heard these familiar phrases used to communicate the importance of making healthy choices. As teachers, we want our students to learn from their mistakes – or better yet, we want to provide a strong foundation of knowledge to help them make well-educated decisions, thereby avoiding the potential negative consequences of poor choices.
A study recently published by the University of Texas at Austin, “Substance Use And Teen Pregnancy In the United States,” shares some disturbing trends among pregnant teens who are not making good choices.
The study takes a closer look at the relationship between teen pregnancy and substance abuse between the ages of 12 and 17. Becoming pregnant as a teen 12-17 is a huge challenge. The study found that this is compounded by the fact that “59% of the pregnant teens admitting to using drugs or alcohol in the previous 12 months, a rate that researchers say is nearly two times as great as non-pregnant teens.”
The choices these teens are making could have a dramatic negative impact on their future health and well-being. But these consequences are not limited to the pregnant teen involved. It can also have a devastating impact on the future of their child. Prenatal exposure to substances including drugs, alcohol and tobacco can lead to a host of physical and cognitive disabilities for the infant.
We are proud to offer a variety of products and information that help teachers provide students with the information they need to avoid the above scenario. The RealCare Drug-Affected Baby shows the possible effects of prenatal drug exposure by demonstrating withdrawal tremors and emitting the cries of a drug-addicted infant. Students learn how drugs reach the fetus and what they can do to ensure this doesn’t happen!
With its small head circumference, narrow eye openings, flat midface and other physical abnormalities, the RealCare Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby is a simple yet powerful way to show the possible effects of prenatal alcohol use. The curriculum shares the message that there is no safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy.
By communicating the importance of making healthy choices and using tools like these simulators to get this type of information into the hands of your middle school and high school students, we can help prevent these tragic consequences. We can be part of the solution and put an end to these startling statistics.
For more information about our Drug-Affected Baby, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby and other infant simulators, visit our website.
How are you communicating the importance of making healthy choices to your students? Share your thoughts in the comments below!