WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR VISIT
Your provider will perform a complete physical exam, including measuring blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index (BMI).
Your teenager’s hearing and vision will be tested.
Depending upon a number of factors, your provider may decide to perform some screening tests for such conditions as anemia, tuberculosis, high cholesterol or diabetes.
For Boys: Just like for girls, at this age range, your provider will assess your son’s sexual maturation.
Your provider will also examine the testicles for potential masses, hernias, and varicocele.
Your provider may also examine your son for signs of gynecomastia, a benign enlargement of breast tissue in males.
Your provider will discuss the dangers of tobacco, drugs and alcohol and will use a screening test to assess your teenager for signs of substance use.
In addition to the physical exam and screening tests outlined above, your provider will ask questions of your teenager to assess overall physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and moral development. They may discuss matters of self-confidence, hopefulness, well-being, and resiliency when dealing with stress.
GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
Your teenager is starting the journey into young adulthood. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity is very important at this stage of development. It’s important to support your teenager’s healthy self-image by praising his or her achievements and activities, rather than just their appearance.
Help your teenager to stay connected with family by encouraging them to participate with other family members, perhaps helping out around the house, joining you for meals and making sure that screen time is limited. Encourage your teenager to get involved with your local community through volunteer opportunities or exploring new interests and activities in your area.
Talk to your teenager about setting limits that you can both agree on. Discuss the consequences of breaking family rules and set clear boundaries. Your teenager should take responsibility for their schoolwork and should trust that they can turn to you when they encounter problems. Praise their efforts and reinforce the importance of organization, goal setting and literacy.
Mood swings and a need for secrecy can make it tough to assess your teenager’s emotional well-being. Help them to find ways to deal with stress. Talk to them about coping skills, managing conflict non-violently and recognizing that periods of emotional stress are normal and temporary. Familiarize yourself with the signs of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. If you have concerns about your teenager’s emotional health, talk to your provider.
Make sure your maturing teen has accurate information about sexuality, including the physical and emotional consequences. Communicate often and openly about your expectations and encourage your teenager to feel safe in sharing his or her expectations. Talk to your daughter about her menstrual periods and any concerns she may have about heavy or painful menstruation.
Continue to be diligent with risk reduction. Talk to your teenager about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs and know who their friends are and the types of activities they engage in. Remind your teen not to ride in cars with anyone who is using drugs or alcohol and that they can always call you for a ride if they feel unsafe. Encourage your teenager to be a role model to his friends by abstaining from substances and praise him or her for their smart choices. Always keep alcohol and prescription medications secured in your home. If you suspect a problem with substance abuse, talk to your teenager and seek the support of your provider.
Make sure your sexually curious teenager understands the risks of sexual intercourse and oral sex. Talk to them about the advantages of abstaining from sexual activity and how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs if they do choose to be sexually active. Talk to your teenager about condoms and other forms of birth control, ensuring that they know the methods for proper use. Continue to stay involved with your adolescent’s school and encourage academic success.
Family Meals are important.
We encourage families to sit together at meal time as often as possible.
PREPARATION FOR VISIT
Your doctor will review milestone information with you during your visit.
You may download and print the Bright Futures Parent Handout for this age range here (click to access PDF).