Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
2. Check your teen's blood pressure using standard testing equipment. Examine spine for curvature. Examine your teen to determine sexual maturity and screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) if warranted.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your teen's:
Eating. At this age, teens should begin making healthy food choices on their own. Explain that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day and avoiding sweet, salty, and fatty foods not only is better nutritionally but will support a healthy weight. Calcium and iron are important for supporting the growth spurts of adolescence. Aim for three daily servings of low-fat dairy products to provide 1,300 milligrams of calcium. One cup of low-fat milk has 300 milligrams of calcium. Include enough lean meats, poultry, and seafood in the diet to reach 8 milligrams of iron per day. One serving of beef has 2-3 milligrams of iron.
Sleeping. Teens generally need about 9 hours of sleep per night. Inadequate sleep is common during the teen years and can have negative effects on school and athletic performance. Changes to the circadian clock make teens want to stay up later, but early school start times can make it hard for them to get enough sleep. Establish a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine.
Physical activity. Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Experts recommend limiting screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers, to no more than 2 hours per day.
Growth and development. By age 13, it's common for teens to:
4. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect people from serious illnesses, so it's important that your teen receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 14 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|National SAFE KIDS Campaign The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers information about car seats, crib safety, fact sheets, and links to other health- and safety-oriented sites.|
|Partnership for a Drugfree America This site features information about drugs and their effects and treatments. The site also shows paraphernalia associated with different drugs and includes personal stories.|
|Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Launched in September, 1995, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was created to protect young people from tobacco addiction. Contact them at: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids|
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|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations The CDC's site has information on vaccines, including immunization schedules, recommendations, FAQs, and more.|
|Immunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures Bright Futures is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that addresses the health needs of growing children. To learn more, visit the website.|
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