Your Child's Checkup: 18 Yearsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-ycc18years-enHD-AR1.jpgFind out what this doctor's visit will involve when your son or daughter is 18.Your Child's Checkup: 18 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, 18-year-old, 18 year old, 18 years, 18 years old, 18, eighteen, eighteen year-old, eighteen year old, eighteen years, eighteen years old, turning 18, turning eighteen, just turned eighteen, going to twelfth grade, going to 12th grade, starting twelfth grade, starting 12th grade, twelfth grade, 12th grade, twelfth grader, 12th grader, twelfth-grader, 12th-grader, getting ready for twelfth grade, getting ready for 12th grade, high school, college, going to college, college freshman, college first year, peer group, peer acceptance, sex, sexual feelings, sexual orientation, music, arts, sports, exercise, homework, schoolwork, depression, stress, coping with stress, peer pressure, drinking, smoking, drugs, pregnancy, body image, hygiene, teeth brushing, seatbelts, Internet, guns, gynecologist, adult doctor, drinking and driving, drunk drivers, college, work plans, texting, cell phones, cell phone use, eating disorders, CD1Primary Care05/16/201309/21/201809/21/2018Mary L. Gavin, MD08/08/2017a79a4613-ad0e-4e6d-a6e0-d91b39e1e854https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkup-18yrs.html/<h3>What to Expect During This Visit</h3> <p>The 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.</strong> <strong>Check <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-weight.html/">weight</a> and height,</strong> <strong>calculate <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bmi-charts.html/">body mass index (BMI)</a></strong>, 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 </strong><strong>blood pressure,</strong> <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vision.html/">vision</a>,</strong> and possibly<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hear.html/"><strong> hearing</strong></a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Give a screening</strong> (test) that checks for <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:</p> <p><strong>Eating.</strong> Young adults should eat three meals a day that include lean protein, at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and at least three servings of dairy products or a fortified milk alternative. Limit food and drinks that are high in fat and sugar.</p> <p><strong>Sleeping.</strong> Young adults need about <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep.html/"> 7 to 9 hours of sleep</a> per night. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep-problems.html/"> Poor sleep</a> makes them less alert and cause problems at work or school. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine and turn off devices, including phones and computers, before bed.</p> <p><strong>Physical activity.</strong> Each week, young adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (like fast walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (like running).</p> <p><strong>Growth and development.</strong> By 18, it's common for young adults to:</p> <ul> <li>develop a sense of self</li> <li>value individual relationships over peer groups</li> <li>become more independent from parents</li> <li>think abstractly to solve problems</li> <li>have long-term plans for the future</li> </ul> <p><strong>5. Do a</strong> <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-13-18.html/">physical exam</a>.</strong> The doctor will look at the skin and listen to the heart and lungs. Young women will undergo a pelvic exam or be referred to a gynecologist. In guys, the doctor will check the testicles for masses and varicocele (swollen veins).</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 to get them on time. Immunization schedules vary from office to office, so talk to the doctor about what to expect.</p> <p><strong>7. Order tests.</strong> Your doctor may check for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anemia.html/">anemia</a>, high <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cholesterol.html/">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 young adults should keep in mind until their next checkup:</p> <h4>Self</h4> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make <strong>plans for the future</strong>, which may include <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/after-hs.html/">college and/or work</a></strong>.</li> <li>Continue to <strong>pursue areas of interest</strong>, including art, music, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-13-18.html/">exercise</a>, and community service.</li> <li>Take<strong> responsibility</strong> for school and work. Lean on family members, a health care professional, or other trusted adult for support in areas where you may struggle.</li> <li>Learn strategies for <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress-vd.html/">coping with stress</a></strong>, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to friends and family.</li> <li>Be aware of signs of&nbsp;depression, which can include irritability, depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, poor academic performance, and talk of suicide. Get professional help if you're depressed.</li> <li>Make plans to switch to an <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/adult-care.html/">adult doctor</a></strong>.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Brush teeth</strong> with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. See a dentist twice a year.</li> </ol> <h4>Safety</h4> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Always <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/auto.html/">wear a <strong>seatbelt</strong></a> while in a vehicle.</li> <li>Don't <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/road-rules.html/">text</a> or use cellphones</strong> while driving.</li> <li>If you're <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/questions-sex.html/">sexually active</a></strong>, use birth control and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/condoms.html/">condoms</a> to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STDs.</li> <li>Avoid <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/smoking.html/">smoking</a></strong>, <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/e-cigarettes.html/">vaping</a></strong>, drinking <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/alcohol.html/">alcohol</a></strong>, and using <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html/">drugs</a>. </strong>Don't use prescription medicines that weren't prescribed for you.</li> <li>Don't <strong>drink and drive. </strong>Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs. Instead, make plans with a designated driver or call for a ride.</li> <li>Prevent <strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/gun-safety.html/">gun injuries</a></strong> 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.</li> <li>Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your <strong>living situation</strong>.Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/buy-health-insurance.html/">health insurance</a>? You doctor can point you toward community resources or refer you to a social worker who can help.</li> </ol> <p><em>These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.</em></p>La revisión de su hijo cuando tenga 18 añosQué esperar durante esta visita.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/checkup-18yrs-esp.html/36581ee9-0e36-4e18-982b-4717d12d333f
Choosing Your Own DoctorYou deserve medical care from someone who helps you feel comfortable and understood. Get tips on finding the best doctor for you.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/own-doctor.html/85e1c956-7aa1-4181-929e-677acdb33b85
Electronic Health RecordsBecause EHRs improve how well your doctors talk to each other and coordinate your treatment, they can enhance your medical care. Get the facts on electronic health records.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/ehr.html/0ac3761b-23ec-4485-8808-7473efadbde5
Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-OldKids who enjoy exercise tend to stay active throughout their lives. Learn how to encourage fitness in your teen.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fitness-13-18.html/a193fa61-69d8-4278-8058-2a9f7854b240
Giving Teens a Voice in Health Care DecisionsInvolving teens in their health care can help prepare them for managing it on their own as adults.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/teen-health-care.html/3a9f2f21-00c2-4755-92cb-a336b5203acf
Helping Your Teen Decide What to Do After High SchoolHelping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you will have as a parent.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/after-hs.html/06645635-a5e2-426e-a563-180bbffd0c5c
How Vaccines Help (Video)Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vaccine-video.html/381d8b32-8c56-41c1-b6b5-247544dcac7e
Medical Care and Your 13- to 18-Year-OldRegular 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.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical-care-13-18.html/1802e35d-4e4e-4431-b044-c4d761eecf9b
Questions to Ask Your DoctorYou're probably used to answering your doctor's questions - not asking your own. But it's your body, so you should be able to ask your doctor questions about anything you'd like. Here are some ideas to get you started.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/questions-doctor.html/a0b8c412-e30d-41ca-b6d4-f695e668b8d6
Rules of the Road for Teen DriversWhen teens get their driver's license, parents should consider creating their own rules of the road beyond the relevant driving laws.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/road-rules.html/2785b6e3-2259-4a70-b7a3-5e5eec5afa9f
STDsParents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they're diagnosed and treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-child-stds.html/1bf6f5c6-ce88-44a0-8a3d-14a1b6756c1d
Taking Charge of Your Medical CareFiguring out health care is part of becoming an independent adult. Here are tips for teens on what that involves, and how to choose your own doctor.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medical-care.html/68e64ed2-24a5-4eca-8bd4-5e046d46f49b
When Your Teen Is Having a BabyIf your daughter is pregnant and planning to have the baby, many changes await your family. How can you support her through the challenges to come?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/teen-pregnancy.html/eae74285-bb69-4d57-b3f6-3d416447711b
Your Child's CheckupsThese age-specific guides can help you be prepared for and keep track of your well-child visits.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/checkups.html/b9a0df04-49c9-43df-afb8-b8631c99c601
Your Medical RecordsEach time you hop up on a doctor's exam table, somebody makes a note in your medical records. There may come a time when you need your medical information, so find out how to get it and how it's protected.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medical-records.html/b168beee-a537-401c-a7e6-c821d5a26be3
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