Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your teen's weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check your teen's blood pressure and vision using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your teen's:
Eating. Teens should be eating three meals a day that include a colorful array of vegetables, whole grains, and at least three servings of dairy products that provide 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day. Include enough lean meats, poultry, and seafood in the diet to reach 15 milligrams of iron per day for young women and 11 milligrams for guys. One serving of beef has 2-3 milligrams of iron. Opt for water over juice or sports drinks.
Sleeping. Teens generally need about 8 hours of sleep per night. Inadequate sleep can lead to decreased alertness and poor performance.
Physical activity. Teens should aim for 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Encourage your teen to limit his or her screen time to no more than 2 hours daily, not including time spent on homework. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time and exercising daily.
Growth and development. By 18, it's common for many teens to:
4. Perform a physical exam. In a young woman, perform a pelvic exam if she is sexually active and has excessive discharge or pelvic pain. In guys, examine the testicles for masses and varicocele (swollen veins).
5. 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.
6. Order tests. Your doctor may assess your teen's risk for anemia, high cholesterol, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until the next routine visit:
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
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