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What Is Your Teen’s Cortisol Levels and Why Does it Matter?

How much cortisol does your child’s body produce when he or she is under stress? Wait. What?

After 16 or 17 years of parenting, there is a lot that you know about your child. However, your child’s cortisol levels are probably not one of the things that you know. Your child’s cortisol levels are probably not one of the things that you even thought that you should know.

Until Now

Recently, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that teens who produce high levels of the hormone cortisol in stressful situations are less likely to be involved in a crash or a near-crash. The theory is that cortisol levels may impact how we learn in stressful situations and that new drivers with low cortisol levels may have more difficulty learning to avoid an accident.

What This Means to You and Your Child

There are no plans for a cortisol test to soon be available for drivers. Accordingly, you are going to have to use the information that you already know about your child to decide if your child is ready to drive safely. You are going to have to make the decision every time your child asks to drive to the Mayfair Mall, a friend’s house, or the Wisconsin Dells.

Have you already faced this decision? What tips would you give parents of new drivers? How will they know if their child is ready to drive? Please leave a comment and share your experiences with other parents in the Milwaukee area so that, together, we can work to keep our children safe.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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