DROP-IN E-ARTICLES TARGETING PEDIATRIC HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS National Birth Defects Prevention Month: Make a PACT to Prevent Birth Defects Plan ahead to prevent birth defects (78 words) Pediatric clinicians play an important role in fostering positive youth development. Risky behaviors can sometimes be a part of a teen’s process of exploring and learning about life. Pediatricians can empower them to make healthy choices for their physical and mental well-being. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Learn more about adolescent sexual risk behaviors and creating healthy opportunities for young adults so that they are prepared when the time comes for them to make reproductive choices. Partner with your patients to avoid harmful substances (84 words) During the month of January, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, pediatricians are called upon to increase their capacity to screen and intervene, if necessary, for adolescent alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other substance use. Not all substance use is an addiction but binge drinking and use of other harmful substances creates risk for injury, motor vehicle accidents and unprotected sex. Encouraging adolescent patients to adopt healthy behaviors early can help improve their own health and the health of the families they may have one day. Choose a healthy lifestyle to prevent birth defects (68 words) Healthy, active living begins with the family. Encourage families to lay the foundations early that will mitigate obesity, diabetes and other risk factors for birth defects. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. It is never too early to begin living a healthy lifestyle. Learn what pediatricians and the medical home can do to support families and their efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy way of life. Talk with your patients to prevent birth defects (74 words) In January, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, pediatricians are called upon to partner with patients and families about their risk for birth defects, including possible genetic, mental health and substance use factors. Talk with your patients about their family health history and how that might influence their reproductive choices. Learn what you can do to talk with your patients about their mental health and motivate them to reduce potential risks related to substance use.