Children, Adolescents, & Teens

Did You Know?


Did You Know? is a feature from the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support to inform your prevention activities. We invite you to read, share, and take action!

View the Current Did You Know?

October 30, 2020
  • CDC’s newly released Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report: 2009–2019pdf icon[PDF – 30.5MB], provides an in-depth look at 10 years of trends in health behaviors and experiences among US high school students, including sexual behavior, high-risk substance use, mental health, experience of violence, and suicide.
  • This report revealed concerning trends about the mental health of high school students—for example, more than 1 in 3 students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40% increase since 2009.
  • To promote good adolescent mental health, public health agencies, schools, and communities can provide youth-friendly mental health services and build supportive environments that provide a sense of safety and connection for all students.
October 9, 2020
September 4, 2020
  • CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) provides a pre-COVID-19 snapshot of the health of nearly 14,000 American students; these results can serve as a baseline to understand the pandemic’s potential impact on student health behaviors and experiences.
  • The 2019 YRBS resultspdf icon show that many student health behaviors were moving in the right direction before the pandemic, including not having sex, using illicit drugs, and consuming soda. However, behaviors related to experiences of violence, poor mental health, and unhealthy diet show more action is needed to help students achieve good physical and mental health.
  • Health agencies, schools, and communities can use CDC’s YRBS data, programs, and resources to help adolescents avoid health risks and begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
May 15, 2020
April 17, 2020
  • One in 54 children were identified with autism in 2016, based on data collected on 8-year-old children across 11 US communities.
  • Early detection of autism is improving: the percentage of 4-year-old children with autism who received their first developmental evaluation by age 36 months increased from 74% in 2014 to 84% in 2016.
  • Healthcare providers can implement CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. program to increase developmental screening and surveillance and help identify children with developmental disabilities earlier to allow for early intervention.
December 13, 2019
  • Across US states, schools were more likely to teach students about suicide and violence prevention in 2018 than in 2008, according to CDC’s 2018 School Health Profiles.
  • However, HIV prevention topics are losing ground in school health education: since 2008, the percentage of schools that taught HIV prevention topics fell from 93% to 87% across US states.
  • States and communities can work with schools to implement and improve school-based health education programs that promote connectedness, support academic performance, and protect the health of youth.
November 8, 2019
  • One in six adults has experienced four or more types of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, such as violence in the home or community.
  • Preventing ACEs could reduce up to 21 million cases of depression, 2.5 million cases of overweight/obesity, and 1.9 million cases of heart disease in adulthood—according to the latest Vital Signs report.
  • States and communities can leverage the best available evidence to prevent ACEs before they occur and to lessen their effects by using CDC’s ACE Prevention Resourcepdf icon[PDF-3.6MB].
August 23, 2019
  • Youth who feel engaged and supported at school and at home are less likely to experience negative health outcomes related to mental health, violence, sexual risks, and substance use later in life.
  • CDC research found that students who felt more connected in their schools and to their families during adolescence experienced a 48% to 66% lower riskexternal icon of poor health outcomes in adulthood.
  • Schools, families, and healthcare providers can take steps to promote connectedness among youth, leading to healthier adults.
July 12, 2019
  • In 2018, there were 233 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) across 41 states; AFM is a rare but serious condition that causes limb weakness and can progress rapidly, sometimes requiring urgent ventilator support.
  • The average age of patients with AFM was 5 years, and most were otherwise healthy children—according to the latest Vital Signs report.
  • Clinicians can help improve our understanding of AFM by recognizing the symptoms early, running appropriate tests, and rapidly reporting suspected cases to the local health department.
April 5, 2019
February 15, 2019
  • In 2018, 4.9 million middle- and high-school students used tobacco products in 2018—up from 3.6 million in 2017—according to the latest Vital Signs report.
  • Use of any tobacco product—including e-cigarettes—by youth is unsafe, and nearly all tobacco product use begins in adolescence.
  • Public health professionals can help implement population-based strategies to protect young people from the dangers of tobacco, including restricting youth access to tobacco products.
January 25, 2019
June 15, 2018
April 27, 2018
April 20, 2018
March 2, 2018
January 26, 2018
September 15, 2017
  • The academic performance of America’s youth is strongly connected to their health.
  • US high school students who engage in substance use, risky sexual behaviors, violence, and suicidal behaviors are more likely to report lower grades at school. 
  • Public health departments can partner with education agencies and use CDC tools and resources to support student health.
August 11, 2017
April 28, 2017
  • About 1 in 7 US children aged 2–8 years has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder, such as anxiety, learning problems, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Kids who have these disorders and live in rural areas face personal, financial, and neighborhood challenges more often than those who live in urban areas.
  • Rural children and their parents might need additional support from states, healthcare systems, and primary care providers—here’s how to help them thrive.
April 21, 2017
  • Vaccination of children born during 1994–2013 will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
  • Following the recommended childhood immunization schedule protects babies and children by providing immunity early in life.
  • Healthcare providers and public health professionals can educate patients about the importance of vaccination and staying on schedule using easy-to-read resources recommended by CDC.

January 27, 2017

October 21, 2016
  • Dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth (molars), where most cavities occur.
  • School-aged children without dental sealants have almost 3 times more cavities than those with sealants―according to the latest Vital Signs report.
  • States can protect millions more children from cavities by starting or expanding dental sealant programs in schools.

September 9, 2016

May 6, 2016

April 15, 2016

February 12, 2016

January 8, 2016
  • More than 18 million US middle and high school youth were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014, according to the latest Vital Signs report.
  • Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements might be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth.
  • States and communities can use proven approachesexternal icon to prevent youth from using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Did You Know?  information and web links are current as of their publication date. They may become outdated over time.

Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020