Teenage Visits Teenage Visits

Physician Relationship

Our office is here to help you be as healthy as you can be. We encourage your parents to express concerns they have about your health; however, as you grow our primary relationship is with you. We encourage your parents to come with you for your physicals but would also like a time when we can speak with you one-on-one about your own health concerns.

If possible, talk to your parents about any health concerns you might have. However, if you are capable of making sound decisions about your own health, Washington State Law allows you to seek medical care for the following conditions, even without the consent of your parents:

  • Mental health conditions (such as depression) and alcohol or drug problems if over age 13
  • Birth control and pregnancy-related care
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS testing, if over age 14

The records and information about these conditions, in general, are private and require your consent before they can be released to anyone else, including your parents. There are exceptions when your health or someone else's health or well-being is in immediate danger. Please discuss with your doctor any questions you have regarding the privacy of the information you provide during an appointment.

Nutrition

  • Are you comfortable with your nutrition and weight?
  • Your body and nutritional needs are changing. To stay healthy eat a balanced diet with an emphasis on grains, fruits and vegetables. Limit fat and cholesterol.
  • There are no "good foods "or" bad foods." Variety and moderation is the key.
  • Include foods rich in calcium such and milk, cheese, and yogurt. Iron is also important and can be found in dry cereal, meat, beans and eggs.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Take a multivitamin with iron if you are vegetarian or when you start menstruating (for women).

Exercise

  • Regular physical activity is a key component of both mental and physical health. A good goal is 30-60 minutes a day.
  • Find an activity you enjoy alone or with friends or a team.
  • Limit screen time to less than one hour a day.
  • Drink caffeine free fluid to maintain hydration with athletics.
  • Discuss any sports supplements or medications with us before using them.

School

  • Take responsibility for your schoolwork. Set goals. Ask for help; that is why you have teachers. Get to know one teacher reasonably well. School success and school enjoyment go hand-in-hand. Find the subjects you enjoy. What school success makes you proud?
  • If you or a friend is experiencing school stress, talk to a teacher or your school counselor. Ask us for the name of a community counselor if you need a professional with whom you could talk.

Relationship with Parents

  • Your parents' role is your life is changing. Now your parents are helping you make wise decisions, not making the decisions for you.
  • Discuss alcohol, sex and changes in your life with your parents. Encourage your parents to share their views of sex and the emotional and physical consequences with you.
  • Who are your social supports? Who do you talk to when something is bothering you? Who do you feel accepts you as you are?

Safety

  • Risk taking is a normal adolescent behavior. Risks come in all shapes and sizes. Before you take a risk, pause to consider the possible consequences of your choice and your behavior. Are you willing to take responsibility and accept the consequences?
  • Plan in advance: what will you do if the friend driving you home is drinking? What are your plans/rules about sexual activity? What will you do when offered drugs or alcohol by a friend? How will you get out of an uncomfortable situation? Can you set up a "no questions asked" pick up policy with your parents?
  • Helmets and seatbelts prevent many injuries and deaths. Encourage your friends to use them too. Alcohol, drugs and cell phones don't go with driving!

Immunizations

We will check to be sure you are up-to-date with vaccinations. If we do not have your complete vaccine record, please obtain them for us to review.

Next Visit

We recommend annual physicals during these years. Your school may only require a check up every 2 years for sports but often physical and mental health concerns require more frequent visits. Colleges or travel programs may require a special physical before entrance so plan ahead.

Resources

  • www.aap.org
  • www.teengrowth.com
  • www.youngwomenshealth.org
  • www.kidshealth.org