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|
1400 Eye St.
Washington, DC 20005
|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.|
|Medical Care and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old Regular visits help your teen's doctor keep track of changes in physical, mental, and social development. The doctor can also help your teen understand the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle.|
|Helping Kids Cope With Cliques With cliques prevalent in middle and high school, most kids encounter them at some point. Here's how parents can help kids maintain confidence and self-respect while negotiating cliques.|
|How Can I Avoid Struggles With My Child About Going to School? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Feeding Your Child Athlete All kids need to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should that balance change for kids who play on a sports team or work out?|
|Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old Kids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.|
|Leaving Your Child Home Alone It's natural for parents to be a bit anxious when first leaving kids without supervision. But you can feel prepared and confident with some planning and a couple of trial runs.|
|Teaching Kids Not to Bully Whether bullying is physical or verbal, if it's not stopped it can lead to more aggressive antisocial behavior - and interfere with a child's success in school and ability to form and sustain friendships.|
|Sports Physicals Just as professional sports stars need medical care to keep them playing their best, so do student athletes. That's why it's important to make sure that kids get a sports physical.|
|A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Teen Years You've lived through 2 AM feedings, toddler temper tantrums, and the back-to-school blues. So why is the word "teenager" causing you so much anxiety?|
|Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias Experiencing and dealing with anxieties can prepare young people to handle the unsettling experiences and challenging situations of life.|
|Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.|
|Nutrition & Fitness Center You know the importance of exercising and eating nutritious foods, but do you know how to raise a healthy and active child? Get practical advice and tips.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.