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If your pre-teen is in pursuit of a junior-high romance, make sure you’ve talked with them about these five risks: #1 Drug Use – Building on a large body of research, a recent study from the University of Georgia found children who date in middle school use alcohol and marijuana twice as much as their peers who hold off on dating until high school.The more time teens spend with a love interest, the more likely they are to use drugs."A lot of kids have this idea that it's no big deal." Kids who think this may be missing crucial messages about sexually transmitted diseases and self-esteem.

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"Parents need to understand that this is a very real risk," says Parry Aftab, executive director of

Wanda Yee, a mother of three daughters from Ridgeway, New Jersey, requires that they keep their accounts set to private, an option offered by the site so that parents can determine who has access to their kid's page.

But that doesn't mean kids aren't sexually active: Studies have found that some 50 percent of teenagers, ages 15 to 19, have engaged in oral sex.

"I have an 11-year-old middle schooler who came home saying that a boy wanted her to have oral sex with him in the parking lot," says Tonja Krautter, a psychologist in Los Gatos, California, who works with adolescents.

Kids also use their cell phones to spread the news about parties.

Last modified 02-Sep-2018 01:00