14 Surprising Must-Know Health Tips for College-Bound Teens

*This post was originally published as a guest blog on one of my favorite teen parenting sites, RaisingTeensToday  Be sure to check out this awesome resource!

When kids venture off to college, they often have a steep learning curve, especially when they start to take charge of their own health. While mom and dad are only a text away, having an ounce of preventative knowledge may be worth way more than a pound of cure! As both a college physician and as a mom of young adults, I’d like to offer fourteen practical and possibly surprising health tips to share … Read more

Does Your Kid Want a Tattoo?

What would you say if your kid asked to get a tattoo? (“Kid” meaning 18 or older, the legal age for ink in the US.) Most people have an immediate gut response- either a HARD NO (“we don’t do that”) or a WHY NOT (because it’s an artistic expression or rite of passage.) As a family doctor, I see the spectrum of tattoo outcomes: a lot of pride and joy, but also regret*, infections, and ink allergies. What do I advise?

Ultimately, the medical risks of tattoos are acceptably low for most people (see details below), and in fact, … Read more

Hey College Parents, Today’s Weed is Not Your ’80s Pot

“They’re just smoking a little pot, right?”

Listen up, parents, because today’s “WEED” is not your “POT”.

Back in the late 70’s and 80’s, smoking pot usually meant passing a joint or bong around a circle of friends with half-closed eyes and mellow vibes (thanks, Cheech&Chong). The nicknames were endless- pot, dope, grass, marijuana, MJ, Mary Jane, reefers, roaches, etc, and the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive part) ranged from 2-5%. With these low THC concentrations, there was no recognized withdrawal syndrome and therefore pot was not considered addictive.

Today’s “weed” in the United States- legal or not- routinely … Read more

Spring Break 2023: The Good, The BORG & the Ugly

What college students need to know about Spring Break

It’s Spring Break Season! Parents, if you’re nervous about your college student’s pending #SB2023, you’re not alone. Although spring break partying is nothing new, the cultural normalization of over-the-top alcohol, drug and sexualized excess has taken things to a new level, exponentially magnified across social media. Let’s jump in with a few tips that can hopefully save your favorite young adult harm or heartache.

First, however, let me reassure you that roughly 20-30% of college students happily choose NOT to drink (or have sex or use drugs for that matter), AND approximately a third of college students drink quite … Read more

Ear wax removal

@tiktok.collegedoc Replying to @laurawatts Trust me, we see the fallout from this all the time! Please come in & we are happy to safely use our cerumen loops to clean out your ears. BTW, Not all wax needs to be removed- it’s a protective substance. Only excessive wax impairing hearing or balance or causing discomfort should be removed. #earscloggedup #collegedoc #collegeproblems #parentingteens #earwaxremoval ♬ original sound – Jill Grimes, MD

Trust me, we see the fallout from this all the time! Please come in & we are happy to safely use our cerumen loops to clean out your ears. BTW, … Read more

Why Doesn’t My Kid Love College (Yet)?

College life by ncgrimes

I sincerely hope your college student is already having an AMAZING experience, but if your “kidult” is struggling, please know they are NOT alone! This “Fall Frenzy” hits every year, especially for freshmen and transfer students. Realities of college are setting in, from suboptimal (or truly awful) midterm grades to social struggles. Some students party way too much, coping with anxiety by blackout drinking, using weed and/or other drugs. Other students hole up in their dorm rooms, escaping reality with video games. Along with these academic and social struggles, many students begin to question if they should change their major, … Read more