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Health Information For Parents
The doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check blood pressure, vision, and possibly hearing.
3. Give a screening (test) that checks for depression.
4. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about:
Eating. Young adults should eat three meals a day that include lean protein, at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and at least three servings of dairy products or a fortified milk alternative. Limit food and drinks that are high in fat and sugar.
Sleeping. Young adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep makes them less alert and cause problems at work or school. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine and turn off devices, including phones and computers, before bed.
Physical activity. Each week, young adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (like fast walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (like running).
Growth and development. By 18, it’s common for young adults to:
5. Do a physical exam. The doctor will look at the skin and listen to the heart and lungs. Young women will undergo a pelvic exam or be referred to a gynecologist. In guys, the doctor will check the testicles for masses and varicocele (swollen veins).
6. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect people from serious illnesses, so it’s important to get them on time. Immunization schedules vary from office to office, so talk to the doctor about what to expect.
7. Order tests. Your doctor may check for anemia, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things young adults should keep in mind until their next checkup:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
Involving teens in their health care can help prepare them for managing it on their own as adults.
Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you will have as a parent.
Regular visits help your teen’s doctor keep track of changes in physical, mental, and social development. The doctor can also help your teen understand the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle.
If your daughter is pregnant and planning to have the baby, many changes await your family. How can you support her through the challenges to come?
When teens get their driver’s license, parents should consider creating their own rules of the road beyond the relevant driving laws.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
Kids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.
Because EHRs improve how well your doctors talk to each other and coordinate your treatment, they can enhance your medical care. Get the facts on electronic health records.
You’re probably used to answering your doctor’s questions – not asking your own. But it’s your body, so you should be able to ask your doctor questions about anything you’d like. Here are some ideas to get you started.
You deserve medical care from someone who helps you feel comfortable and understood. Get tips on finding the best doctor for you.
Each time you hop up on a doctor’s exam table, somebody makes a note in your medical records. There may come a time when you need your medical information, so find out how to get it and how it’s protected.
Figuring out health care is part of becoming an independent adult. Here are tips for teens on what that involves, and how to choose your own doctor.
These age-specific guides can help you be prepared for and keep track of your well-child visits.
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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