Reuters Health - Most parents believe their adolescents should spend time alone with the pediatrician during routine visits to talk about any concerns or questions, according to a new study. During a follow-up phone call two weeks after the visit, parents reported whether their child met with the pediatrician alone, rated the importance of alone time and talked about the barriers of adolescent-pediatrician communication. Ultimately, 86 percent of adolescents had time alone for part of the wellness visit, ranging from five to 30 minutes.
The number of U. An estimate from the Centers for Disease Control CDC showed that the rate of children age 10 to 17 who did not receive a well-child checkup in the past year dropped from 31 to 21 percent. It means an increasing number of tweens and teens are getting preventive health care.
Approximately two out of three adolescents visit a health care provider once a year, yet only one in 15 visits are for preventive care. Unfortunately, that percentage only gets smaller with increasing age. Jill Schmitt, D.
The doctor also can help your teen understand the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, proper exercise, and safety measures. The more that teens understand about their physical growth and sexual developmentthe more they will recognize the importance of active involvement in their own health care. Teens should visit their doctors annually. Older teens may be screened for alcohol, drugs, and sexually transmitted diseases STDs.
The doctor will ensure that your youngster's immunizations are up to date, and ask about your child's diet, exercise habits, and sleep patterns. Your pediatrician is interested not only in your child's physical health, but also in his or her mental and emotional well-being. It is appropriate to discuss such concerns as your youngster's school experiences, relationships with peers, family difficulties, and daily stresses.
When you arrive for your appointment, you'll fill out a questionnaire about your health and safety. This helps your doctor know about any issues or concerns you may want to talk about during your visit. You may print and fill out the teen health questionnaire before your appointment if you wish.
While getting your little kids to the doctor may feel like a battle of wills, once they're adolescents, you're likely to be facing a new fight entirely. Tweens and teens are often self-conscious, hesitant to share, and in a state of emotional overdrive. So having their bodies examined and chatting with the doc about everything from weight to relationships to sex isn't exactly at the top of your average teen's wish list.
The transition from tween to teen means exciting changes on the horizon: learning to drive, becoming more independent, thinking about college and a career. Teens also begin to take more control over their health-care needs. This includes building relationships with their doctors separate from their parents. That shift should begin by age 13 says Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Jane K.
Check your teen's weight and height, calculate body mass index BMIand plot the measurements on growth charts. Check your teen's blood pressure, visionand possibly hearing. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your teen's:.
Understandably, this may create some anxiety for you, the parent, as well as prompt many questions:. The answers to the above questions may vary considerably based on the situation, but in general, we routinely ask the parents of an adolescent aged 12 years and older to leave the room at some point so that we can discuss things that your teen may be uncomfortable discussing in front of his parents. We usually end by talking about mental health issues and briefly screening for depression.