As we head back to school, many of us are returning in person for the first time in a long time. When it comes to health, we may have been focused on COVID-19 over the past year and a half but there are many things to think about when it comes to taking care of your health.
- Did you know California teens have a right to comprehensive sex education? Make sure your high school sex ed covers topics such as sexual assault and coercion, gender identity and healthy relationships. . Not getting that information? Teens also have a right to access and health care services during school hours, like birth control, STD testing, and more! Plus, teen have a right to stay in school if they are pregnant or parenting. Take a minute to before you head back to school.
- About half of all sexually active teens will get a sexually transmitted infection (STI for short, sometimes also called STDs) before their 25 birthday and many won’t even know it. The most common types of STIs have NO symptoms at all! That’s why it’s important to get tested or you could put yourself and your partner at risk. and how to get tested, then you. It’s easy and FREE!
- Now that most students are returning to school on campus, get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect yourself and your community, unless you have a medical reason or other reason you might be unable to get vaccinated. Remember you are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your last dose (either the first or second depending on which vaccine you get). Remember to continue following all safety measures set by your county even after you are fully vaccinated. In addition to COVID-19, The earlier you get the HPV vaccination, the better – as it is more effective BEFORE you become sexually active. If you are already sexually active, it isn’t too late – ask your local health center for more information. that offers the HPV vaccine and add getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and HPV to your back to school checklist.
- to pick up FREE condoms near you! Before you get busy with homework and tests, stock up on free condoms. You never know when you or a friend might need them.
- : When you’re ready to start looking for birth control, you’ll find so many options. That’s why it’s important you find the one that is right for you. and think about the one that fits best into your lifestyle so you’ll use it regularly. If you want to start birth control or get a new method, ! (EC) is also a good idea to have on hand in case you are unable to use your regular method, run out of your regular method or you think your regular method may have failed Ask your provider to give you EC to take home in case you or your friend need it in the future.
- : When it comes to all of the relationships in your life (friends, family, romantic relationships), it is important to make sure they are healthy, positive parts of your life! Unhealthy romantic relationships are common, especially for teens. Be sure your partner listens to you and respects you. That’s important for having a . Your are also important. Think about how they treat you and how you treat them. Remember there is no reason to use peer pressure or bully your friends. If you’re struggling with relationships in your life, it’s a good idea to talk with your parents or another trusted adult. Check out TeenSource’s and direct them to if they need help talking to you!
- Sign up to get quick tips about life, love, sex and health sent right to your phone! You can sign up for TeenSource Tips by sending “teensource” to 877877 or .
We hope these tips help you have a safe and healthy start to your school year! There’s a lot to think about when it comes to school heading back to school and taking care of your health now can save stress later!