2. Check your teen's blood pressure andvision using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your teen's:
Eating. Teens should eat three meals a day that include lean protein, whole grains, at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, and three servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat.
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 teen to follow a relaxing bedtime routine.
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 17 years, it's common for teens to:
if male, to show signs of pubertal development, including testicular enlargement, penile lengthening, and growth of pubic hair
be influenced by their peer group
explore different identities to help them determine where they fit in
have sexual feelings. This includes an interest in dating and relationships, exploring one's sexuality, and addressing questions of sexual orientation.
begin to think abstractly and reflect on how to make decisions, but still be impulse driven and not think about the consequences of his or her actions
4. Perform aphysical exam. The doctor will check for the signs of puberty and may perform a breast or testicular exam. A chaperone should be present during this part of the exam.
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.
Talk about the dangers of smoking, alcohol, and drugs, inhalants, and other means to get high. Praise your teen for abstaining from these activities.
Look for signs of depression, which can include irritability, depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, poor academic performance, and talk of suicide.
If you haven't already, schedule a gynecologistvisit for your daughter. This first visit typically does not involve a pelvic exam, unless she is having problems.
The right time to switch to an adult doctor depends on your and your teen's desires, as well as your pediatrician's practice. Talk to the pediatrician about when is the right time. Teens generally begin seeing an adult doctor at age 18, but some wait until age 21. In the meantime, encourage your teen to take a role in managing medical care by learning to do things like schedule doctor's appointments, order prescriptions, and care for any chronic conditions.