Your Child's Checkup: 14 Yearsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-ycc14years-enHD-AR1.jpgFind out what this doctor's visit will involve when your teen is 14.Your Child's Checkup: 14 Years, checkup, checkups, check up, check ups, check-up, check-ups, well-child visit, well-child visits, well visit, well visits, doctor's visit, doctor's visits, doctors visits, going to the doctor, development, physical exam, physical examination, routine exam, routine visit, routine examination, examination, examinations, your child's growth, milestone, milestones, what should my child be doing, 14-year-old, 14 year old, 14 years, 14 years old, 14, fourteen, fourteen year-old, fourteen year old, fourteen years, fourteen years old, turning 14, turning fourteen, just turned fourteen, going to eighth grade, going to 8th grade, starting eighth grade, starting 8th grade, eighth grade, 8th grade, eighth grader, 8th grader, eighth-grader, 8th-grader, getting ready for eighth grade, getting ready for 8th grade, middle school, going to ninth grade, going to 9th grade, starting ninth grade, starting 9th grade, ninth grade, 9th grade, ninth grader, 9th grader, ninth-grader, 9th-grader, getting ready for ninth grade, getting ready for 9th grade, puberty, breasts, pubic hair, menstruation, testicles, penis, penile lengthening, oily skin, acne, growth spurts, peer acceptance, independence, music, arts, sports, afterschool clubs, homework, bullying, bullies, bully, depression, peer pressure, drinking, smoking, menarche, sex, erections, wet dreams, hygiene, teeth brushing, body odor, seatbelts, helmets, Internet, guns, gynecologist, CD1Primary Care05/16/201309/18/201809/18/2018Mary L. Gavin, MD07/14/201783cf0755-0a61-420f-bc53-ca4d2d4e6b84https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkup-14yrs.html/<h3>What to Expect During This Visit</h3> <p>Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:</p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/center/medical-care-center.html/"><img class="right" title="Parents image" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/P-teensMedCare-enBT.gif" alt="Get teens involved in their medical care" name="4873-P_TEENSMEDCARE_ENBT.GIF" /></a></p> <p><strong>1. Check your teen's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/">weight</a> and height,</strong> calculate <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bmi-charts.html/">body mass index (BMI)</a>, and plot the measurements on <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth-charts.html/">growth charts.</a></p> <p><strong>2. Check your teen's blood pressure</strong> and possibly <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hear.html/">hearing</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>3. Give a screening test</strong> to check for signs of <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depression</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>4. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice</strong> about your teen's:</p> <p><strong>Eating.</strong> 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. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/calcium.html/">Calcium</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/iron.html/">iron</a> are important for the growth spurts of adolescence. Aim for three daily servings of low-fat dairy products (or dairy alternatives) to provide 1,300 milligrams of calcium. Include enough lean meats, poultry, and seafood in the diet to reach 8 milligrams of iron per day.</p> <p><strong>Sleeping.</strong> Teens need about <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep.html/">9 to 11 hours of sleep</a> per night. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep-problems.html/">Poor sleep</a> is common and can hurt grades 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 child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine, and keep TVs and all digital devices out of your teen's bedroom.</p> <p><strong>Physical activity.</strong> Aim for 60 minutes of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exercise.html/">physical activity</a> per day. Set daily <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/tv-habits.html/">limits on screen time</a>, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers.</p> <p><strong>Growth and development.</strong> By age 14, it's common for teens to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>show <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html/">signs of puberty</a>: <ul> <li>In boys, testicular enlargement is the first sign of puberty, followed by penile lengthening and the growth of pubic hair.</li> <li>In girls, breasts development and pubic hair grows. About 2 years later, the first menstrual period comes.</li> </ul> </li> <li>have oily <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-hair-nails.html/">skin</a> and/or <a class="kh_anchor">acne</a></li> <li>not always connect their actions with future consequences</li> <li>want to be independent and fit in with peers</li> <li>focus on personal appearance and behavior</li> <li>want to engage in risky behaviors</li> </ul> <p><strong>5. Do a physical exam. </strong>This will include looking at the skin, listening to the heart and lungs, checking the back for any <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/scoliosis.html/">curvature of the spine</a>, and looking for puberty <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html/">development</a>. A parent, caregiver, or chaperone should be present during this part of the exam, but siblings should remain outside in the waiting room to give your teen privacy.</p> <p><strong>6. Update immunizations.</strong> <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vaccine.html/">Immunizations</a> can protect people from serious illnesses, so it's important that your teen get them on time. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immunization-chart.html/">Immunization schedules</a> can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.</p> <p><strong>7. Order tests.</strong> Your doctor may check your teen's risk for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anemia.html/">anemia</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cholesterol.html/">high cholesterol</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/tuberculosis.html/">tuberculosis</a>, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-child-stds.html/">sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)</a> and order tests, if needed.</p> <h3>Looking Ahead</h3> <p>Here are some things to keep in mind until your teen's next checkup at <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkup-15yrs.html/">15 years</a>:</p> <h4>School</h4> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Encourage your teen to participate in a <strong>variety of activities</strong>, such as music, arts, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-13-18.html/">sports</a>, after-school clubs, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hate-sports.html/">other activities</a> of interest.</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/self-esteem.html/"><strong>Praise accomplishments</strong></a> and provide support in areas where your teen struggles.</li> <li>Provide a quiet place to do <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/homework-help.html/"><strong>homework</strong></a>. Minimize distractions, such as TV and digital devices.</li> <li>As schoolwork gets harder, your teen may <strong>struggle academically</strong>. If this happens, work with the school staff to determine the cause, such a learning or attention problem, bullying, or other stressors.</li> <li><strong>Peer pressure</strong> can lead to risky behaviors, such as drinking or smoking. Know who your kids are spending time with and make sure that an adult is monitoring them.</li> </ol> <h4>Self</h4> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Spend time with your teen every day. <strong>Share mealtimes</strong>, <strong>be active </strong> together, and <strong>talk</strong> about things that are important to your teen.</li> <li><strong>Set rules</strong> and explain your expectations. Have <strong>fair consequences</strong> for rule-breaking. <strong>Praise</strong> good choices.</li> <li>Be prepared to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-puberty.html/"><strong>answer questions about puberty</strong></a> and the feelings associated with those changes. Be open to questions about <strong>gender identity </strong>and<strong> <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/questions-sex.html/">sexuality</a></strong>. Ask your teen to come to you with questions.</li> <li>Encourage your teen to wait until he or she is older to engage in sexual activity with others. Explain the risk of <strong>sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)</strong> and unwanted pregnancy.</li> <li>Encourage your teen to <strong>bathe or shower daily</strong> and start to use a deodorant.</li> <li>Teens should <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/healthy.html/"><strong>brush teeth</strong></a> twice daily, floss once a day, and see a dentist once every 6 months.</li> <li>Look for signs of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/"><strong>depression</strong></a>, which can include irritability, sadness, loss of interest in activities, poor academic performance, and talk of suicide.</li> </ol> <h4>Safety</h4> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Talk to your teen about the dangers of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/smoking.html/"><strong>smoking</strong></a><strong>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/e-cigarettes.html/">vaping,</a> <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/alcohol.html/">alcohol</a>, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html/">drugs</a></strong>.</li> <li>Teens should always <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/auto.html/">wear a <strong>seatbelt</strong></a> while in a vehicle. Tell your teen to never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking or doing drugs. Instead, let your teen know to always call you for help.</li> <li>Remind your teen to <strong>wear a helmet</strong> while <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bike-safety.html/">riding a bike</a>, skateboard, or scooter.</li> <li>Teens should <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sun-safety.html/"><strong>apply sunscreen</strong></a> of SPF 30 at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply about every 2 hours.</li> <li>Monitor your teen's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/net-safety.html/"><strong>Internet usage</strong></a><strong>.</strong> Keep the family computer in a place where you can watch what your teen is doing. Install safety filters and check the browser history to see what websites your teen has visited.</li> <li>Talk to your teen about <strong>online safety</strong>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cyberbullying.html/"><strong>cyberbullying</strong></a>, and using <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html/">social media</a> </strong>wisely.</li> <li>Prevent <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/gun-safety.html/"><strong>gun injuries</strong></a> 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.</li> <li>Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your <strong>living situation</strong>. Do you have the things that you need to take care of your teen? 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