The early teen years are a good time for your child to start taking a more active role in his or her healthcare.
What you need to know:
Health does matter to them
Healthcare in general may not be on most teens’ radar, but certain aspects of health are probably a major part of their lives. Teens tend to worry about their looks more than they did when they were younger. Being healthy has a big influence on how kids feel in their bodies. Kids who feel good are more likely to do well in school and sports.
Health issues at this age
There are a number of things teens might want to discuss with their provider. At the top of the list might be sexual health questions, which is okay because the teen years are a good time for them to learn about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The teen years are also a good time to create healthy habits as the habits made in our youth often follow us into adulthood, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Healthy habits can influence our risk for developing heart, lung, or other health problems.
How parents can help
Building a patient-provider relationship can greatly benefit your teen, now and into his or her later years. Parents can encourage their teen to talk to their doctor in private—and let them know it will remain private.
Some advice for teens
You will of course want to see your provider when you’re sick, but it’s also a good idea to prevent problems before they start. That’s why regular checkups are so important.
Keep in mind that the information you tell your doctor in the privacy of the office will stay in the office. The only exception may be if you are in danger of being hurt, per the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Meet with your doctor
• Let your doctor know about any medications you take, including herbal or over-the-counter products.
• Write down everything you want to discuss before your visit, and then check each item off when you’re finished.
• Feel free to bring up any subject that concerns you, including problems at school or at home. If you have a concern, ask about it.
“…let them know it will remain private.”
How we can help
Continuity of care is important as your child develops into an adolescent and teenager. Capital Region Physicians – Pediatrics treats children from infancy and watches them grow, thus recognizing subtle changes in a child’s health throughout development. As your child grows and becomes a teenager, they may have questions about their health that they find difficult to discuss with other adults who do not know them as well. By having a long-standing relationship with their doctor, a pediatrician can easily become a trusted confidant in your child’s life.
(573) 632-5525 | 1125 Madison St., JCMO | crmc.org