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Health Information For Parents
Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your teen’s weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check your teen’s blood pressure, vision, and possibly hearing.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your teen’s:
Eating. Teens should eat three meals a day that include lean protein, whole grains, at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, and three servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products or milk alternatives.
Sleeping. Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep is common during the teen years and can hurt school and athletic performance. Biological changes make teens want to stay up later, but early school start times can make it hard for them to get enough sleep. Encourage your teen to follow a relaxing bedtime routine. Digital devices, like phones and computers, should be turned off before bed.
Physical activity. Teens should aim for 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Encourage your teen to limit screen time to no more than 2 hours daily, not including time spent on homework. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time and exercising daily.
Growth and development. By age 15, it’s common for teens to:
4. Do a physical exam. The doctor will look at the skin, listen to the heart and lungs, check the back for curvature of the spine, and check for puberty development. A chaperone should be present during the exam.
5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect people from serious illnesses, so it’s important that your teen receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
6. Order tests. Your doctor may assess your teen’s risk for anemia, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Here are some things to keep in mind until your teen’s next checkup at 16 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
These age-specific guides can help you be prepared for and keep track of your well-child visits.
Teens spend much of the day outside the home, but it’s important that you take time every day to talk with your teen to share opinions, ideas, and information.
Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you will have as a parent.
Kids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.
Parents can play a crucial role in helping teens succeed in school by lending a little help, support, and guidance, and by knowing what problems demand their involvement and which ones require them to hang back.
You’ve lived through 2 AM feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the back-to-school blues. So why is the word “teenager” causing you so much anxiety?
Kids entering puberty will undergo many changes in their developing bodies. Find out more about what to expect.
Kids reaching puberty should already know what’s going to happen to their bodies. Here are some tips for talking to your daughter about menstruation.
Eating disorders are common among teens and kids, especially young women. Read about the warning signs, prevention strategies, and ways to help a child with an eating disorder.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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