2. Check your teen's blood pressure, vision,
and possibly hearing.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your
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 or milk alternative.
Sleeping. Teens need about 8
to 10 hours of sleep per night. Poor
sleep is common during the teen years and can hurt school and athletic performance.
Biological changes make teens want to stay up later, but early school start times
can make it hard for them to get enough sleep. Encourage your teen to follow a relaxing
bedtime routine. Digital devices, like phones and computers, should be turned off
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 age 16, it's common for teens to:
if male, to show signs of pubertal development, including testicular enlargement,
penile lengthening, and the 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 becoming aware of sexual
orientation and gender identity.
begin to think abstractly and reflect on how to make decisions, but still be impulse-driven
and not think about the consequences of their actions
want to engage in risky behaviors
4. Do aphysical
exam. The doctor will look at the skin, listen to the
heart and lungs, check the back for curvature of the spine, and check for puberty
development. A chaperone should be present during the exam.
5. Update immunizations.Immunizations
can protect people from serious illnesses, so it's important that your teen get them
on time. Immunization
schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to
Spend time with your teen every day. Share mealtimes, be
active together, and talk about things that are important to your teen.
Praise good choices, and include your teen in decision-making.
Set rules and explain your expectations. Have fair consequences
Encourage your teen to wait until he or she is older to engage in sexual activity
with others. Explain the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted
pregnancy. Discuss the importance of birth
control and condom
injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep
it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure
kids cannot access the keys.
Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation.
Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and health
insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to
a social worker.
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.