The Associated Press
May 13, 2008

WASHINGTON – 4gt yr meds? Getting kids to remember their medicine may be a text message away. Cincinnati doctors are experimenting with texting to tackle a big problem: Tweens and teens too often do a lousy job of controlling chronic illnesses like asthma, diabetes or kidney disease.

It’s a problem long recognized in adults, particularly for illnesses that can simmer without obvious symptoms until it’s too late. But only now are doctors realizing how tricky a time adolescence is for skipping meds, too.

Of necessity, parents start turning over more health responsibilities to their children at this age. It’s also an age of angst, sometimes rebellion, and when youths may most hate feeling different from their friends because of medication, special diets or other therapy.

“It’s a time of so much change in these kids’ lives,” says Dr. Marva Moxey-Mims, a specialist in pediatric kidney disease at the National Institutes of Health. “It’s very difficult when you’ve got a life-threatening illness to say, ‘Let them make their mistakes.'”

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