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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Oct 25

The Flu & Flu Shot: What Are the Risks?

Posted By addie | October 25, 2016

If you have not gotten your flu shot this year, it isn’t too late! It is recommended you get a shot before mid-November. Still undecided? Here are some facts about influenza and the flu shot:

What is influenza (AKA the Flu)?

Influenza is a contagious illness that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can even result in death. These symptoms include:

  1. Get your flu shot disease ill illness healthy health doctorFever
  2. Cough and sore throat
  3. Runny or stuffy nose
  4. Headache and muscle aches
  5. Tiredness 

Why is it important to get vaccinated?

Getting vaccinated not only protects you from getting the flu, but others as well. Some people cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons. Therefore, it is important that as many people as possible get the shot. This way, the flu cannot spread to those vulnerable people who cannot get the shot.

Can the vaccine give me the flu?

No. Even though some flu vaccines contain inactive viruses, these virus particles no longer have the ability to cause illness. Some people may become ill with the flu after getting a flu shot, but this is most likely due to the fact that the vaccine takes two weeks to start working. This means you can get the flu up to two after getting the shot.

Is the flu vaccine dangerous?

The media often claims that the flu vaccine contains dangerous ingredients and is responsible for a variety of health problems. This, however, is not the case. The great majority of studies have shown that the flu vaccine is one of the safest medical products available. Very few risks have been found to be associated with the flu shot and these side effects are usually mild and short-lived. In short, the risk of catching influenza far outweighs the risks of its vaccine!

Still not convinced? Check out this BuzzFeed Video!

Hear Lisa’s story about her scary encounter with the flu:

Use the Flu Vaccine Finder to locate the closest place to get your flu shot here:

Oct 20

How to Properly Handle Bullying

Posted By addie | October 20, 2016

Have you ever been in a situation when you or a friend were being bullied? Was there a time you realized you were the one bullying someone else? Bullying is an increasing issue not only in schools, but also online. Bullying on the internet, typically via social media outlets, is often referred to as cyber bullying. Here are some tips that could help you or someone else escape bullying during this National Bullying Prevention Month.

If you are experiencing bullying, you should:Stop bullying sign.

  • Calmly and clearly tell them to stop
  • Walk away and stay away
  • Tell a responsible adult
  • Surround yourself with a safe environment
  • Log off social media

If you witness bullying, you should:

  • Tell a trusted adult
  • Don’t be part of the audience
  • Be a friend
  • Set a good example and stand up for others
  • Help them avoid it

Together, we can create safer environments for everyone in school and online. Whether you have been bullied or think you have been the bully, always treat others with respect. Remember to think about what you want to say before you say something that could hurt someone. For more facts and resources visit:

Oct 18

Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Posted By addie | October 18, 2016

With Halloween and the holidays just around the corner, whether you’re trick or treating or not, you’ll probably be indulging in a little more sweets than usual. We all know that we should brush our teeth twice a day and floss, but did you know these other practices to keep your smile bright?

  1. Drink tap water– because of it’s woman holding picture with big smilebenefits against tooth decay our drinking water is fluorinated. What does that mean? Fluoride is added to the water that comes out of the tap in order to keep everyone’s teeth strong and healthy. If you usually drink water sold in bottles make an effort to drink filtered water from the tap once in awhile.
  2. Go to the dentist regularly– it is recommended that we all visit the dentist about every six months. This is not only to check for cavities but also to get professional teeth cleanings. These are important because no matter how well we brush and floss plague still builds and it needs to be scraped by a hygienist. Without regular cleanings at the dentist office, plaque will continue to build and form tartar which is even harder to remove!
  3. Reduce the amount of sugar that you eat– not only is sugar bad for your body in terms of weight and health but your teeth as well. But you probably knew that didn’t you? What you may not know that it’s not the sugar consumed that’s so bad for your teeth but the sugar that is left on your teeth. Try to brush after eating or drinking sugary treats. If you can’t brush, simply rinse with water or mouthwash.

To learn more about keeping your mouth and teeth visit:

Oct 13

Healthy Game Day Snacks

Posted By addie | October 13, 2016

Fall is the beginning of football season and football season means a lot of unhealthy game day snacks. Here are some tasty recipes to stay healthy while still enjoying the game.

Swap wings for….Buffalo cauliflower! Get the same buffalo wings flavor with theExcited football fans watching the game on TV together satisfaction of eating your veggies. Buffalo cauliflower is essentially roasted cauliflower with hot wings sauce. Check out the recipe here.

Instead of delivery pizza…Spinach crusted pizzaExchange all of those greasy extra carbs you get from traditional pizza by making your own crust with spinach. Sounds a little weird, but it’s just delicious enough to work! Check out the crust recipe here and get creative with your own pizza toppings (I like olives, green peppers and mushrooms).

Lighten up your nachos by making…Zucchini Nachos! Nachos don’t exactly scream healthy but when you use grilled zucchini instead of tortilla chips and load them up with veggies, beans (not refried), and fresh herbs you’ve got a healthy snack, game day or not. Just don’t over do it on the cheese or sour cream. Get the recipe here (if you don’t have a grill or a grill pan hand, the oven will do just as well).

Oct 11

Bicycle Safety Do’s & Don’ts

Posted By addie | October 11, 2016

Using a bicycle is a great form of not only transportation, but also a wonderful way to be physically active and environmentally friendly. You may never forget how to ride a bike, but the following bicycle safety tips are often forgotten:

Bicycle sign, Bicycle Lane in public park

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet
  • Obey traffic signs
  • Use standard hand signals to notify fellow cyclists and other vehicles
  • Ride with the flow of traffic
  • Wear noticeable colors (including reflective gear) especially in the evening hours
  • Bicycle maintenance:
    • Check for adequate tire pressure
    • Ensure chains are well oiled
    • Make sure brakes, both front and back, are functioning
    • Check that both front and rear reflectors are visible

Even if you are not a cyclist, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings if you are driving a vehicle. If you are driving, always make sure there is enough space between you and the cyclists. Also check your speed when passing. If pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers work together to be more mindful of each other, we can create safer roads and cities.

For more information on bike safety visit:

Oct 6

Stop the Stigma: How We Talk About Mental Health Matters

Posted By addie | October 6, 2016

Nervous BreakdownTo celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week let’s talk about the stigma of mental health. How many times have you heard someone say “oh, she’s so OCD” when referring to someone who likes to keep their desk clear or “he’s so bipolar” when talking about someone being moody?

Not only are these terms for mental health disorders being used inaccurately, they are also being used in a hurtful way. When saying things like this, it turns the difficulties that people who live with these disorders into casual phrases that aren’t taken seriously. Using mental health terms this way can have a big impact on people who do suffer from mental illness. It adds to the stigma surrounding mental health and can make it harder for people to be taken seriously or to get the help they need.

So what can you do?

  1. Start by taking certain phrases out of your vocabulary. Saying things like “I’m so OCD” or “I’m so ADD,” just contributes to a culture of stigma. You can read more about some other stigmatizing phrases here.
  1. Learn more about mental health disorders. Knowing how serious mental illness can be makes it a lot easier to not use the terms so casually. It’s also helpful to know some of the signs of common mental illnesses such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Major Depression in case you feel that you need to get help for yourself or a friend. You can check out a list of mental illnesses and what to look for here.

Though changing the way we talk about mental illness won’t get rid of all of the stigma, these are some simple and easy way to start.

Oct 4

Understanding Depression & Poll Results

Posted By addie | October 4, 2016

Poll results are in and Iowa teens do know the signs of depression.

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects
millions of individuals. Adolescence is a particularly difficult time as teenagers face drastic hormonal and lifestyle changes. Depression can be difficult to comprehend for many because most symptoms seem “invisible.” Symptoms of depression can vary between persons, but there are certain common signs. They include physical and emotional symptoms such as:

Emotional SymptomsWoman covers her face with hands on the grunge backround.

  • Overbearing sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in personality
  • Loss of interest in life or activities that were once pleasurable
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling exhausted

Physical Symptoms

  • Appetitive/weight changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Shift in academic performance
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Unusual aches, pains, or headaches

These symptoms do not include all possible symptoms that an individual may experience. If you or anyone you know seem to be experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your parents, friends, teachers/counselors or any trusted adult. Treatment can vary from simple behavior changes or therapy to medications and will depend on the severity of depression.

Here is a video from Therapist Aid for more information:

Sep 29

The Internet & Politics

Posted By addie | September 29, 2016

The 2016 presidential election has been a rollercoaster of opinions, controversies, memes, gifs and hashtags. For one of the first times we are really seeing the internet play a huge role in our American voting process. A lot of good has come of this. Election Vote ButtonsRegistration and polling information has become very easily accessed. Caucus and primary result were so easy to find that even Snapchat made a filter so you could post the results and a selfie at the same time. Big events on the campaign trail can be instantly video recorded and shared on social media for the world to view as it happens. This helps give the people an accurate snapshot of the candidates without being muddled by tactics to cover up or retract statements. This also opens up a whole new platform to distract voters from important issues and focus on comical or embarrassing clips of the candidates. While it seems fun to poke at Donald Trump for saying “7/11” instead of “9/11” or for cringing at an awkward Hillary Clinton for “chillin’ in Cedar Rapids,” these things can really be harmful to the integrity of an election. It takes the spotlight away from real issues like gun control, health care, immigration, and human rights issues and much more.

Whether you are eligible or not to vote on November 2nd, I encourage you to become an active participant in the political process and stay informed about the issues instead of simply sharing memes and gifs on social media.

To find out how to register to vote visit:

Sep 27

Dress Code- Business Casual Vs. Business Professional

Posted By addie | September 27, 2016

Group of Business ProfessionalsGoing to an interview or showing up for the first day of a new job or internship is very overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to wear. The difference between business casual and business professional seems unimportant if you don’t know what the terms mean. Business professional is much more cut and dry than business casual. For professional, men should wear a suit and a tie with a solid dress shirt and women should wear a pantsuit or dress with a blazer. All footwear should be conservative, which means no flashy colors or wild styles, and they should be close toe. Business casual can be much harder to master because there is more room for interpretation, but the key is to look neat, clean, and appropriately covered. This means no stains, rips or fraying and hair should be clean and groomed (these also go for business professional). For men slacks, corduroys, or khakis can be appropriate. Pair one of those with a dress shirt (no tie), sweater or sweater vest. Women can wear pants, dresses or skirts (only slightly above the knee) with a blouse, sweater, cardigan or blazer. Footwear should remain fairly conservative, but open toe should be fine. Check this out for a visual on the difference for both men and women.

If you are showing up for your first day and aren’t exactly sure how professional you should be dressed it is always better to overdress rather than underdress. Take into account what you see others wearing and their job position- the higher up the position, the more professionally dressed people tend to be. Steer clear from jeans until you are sure that they are acceptable, but always leave the faded pair with holes at home. Dress codes can be difficult to navigate and there is usually some sympathy if it takes you a couple of tries to dress the right way. Most importantly, be confident, kind and professional no matter how you are dressed and you are sure to make a great impression.

Check out this site for more info and tips on dressing professionally:

Sep 22

Identifying Unhealthy or Abusive Relationships

Posted By addie | September 22, 2016

sad girl looking out the windowAn abusive relationship is a pattern of abuse or coercion (using force or threats) to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Types of abuse include: physical, mental, emotional, and sexual. Keep in mind that both men and women can be victimized. Just because we use the word “abuse” does not mean that these relationships are easy to identify or acts of abuse are easy to identify. In many cases, people involved in abusive relationships are never physically hurt or harassed verbally, but a partner can use less obvious ways. Many times individuals involved in these relationships aren’t even aware of the abuse that is occurring. For these reasons, and more, today we’re going to talk about some signs of partner abuse so that you can identify a friend’s abusive relationship.


  • Personality changes– suddenly they don’t enjoy things they use to like hobbies, music, movies, or sports, etc.
  • Less socializing, breakdown of previous friendships– if they seem shut off or if they rarely participate in social activities like they use to.
  • Fear of conflict– if they back down from confrontation immediately they might fear retaliation that they have experienced with their partner.
  • Self-blame– if everything is their fault and put the blame on themselves all the time.
  • Less confident– negative comments about their abilities in school or their appearance, especially if they were previously a very confident person.
  • Their partner is overly controlling– if their partner dictates what they wear, what they are doing, where they are going, who with, etc.
  • Injuries and excuses– when you notice bruises, scrapes, cuts, or broken bones tell a trusted adult immediately.

Abusive relationships can be difficult to identify, but if you see someone close to you showing signs tell either a teacher, parent or other trusted adult right away. To learn about more signs visit:

You can always text “Go” to 741-741 to talk with trained crisis counselors for help with abusive relationships or anything else that is on your mind.