Giving Teens a Voice in Health Care Decisionsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-teenHealthCare-enHD-AR1.gifInvolving teens in their health care can help prepare them for managing it on their own as adults.preteens, tweens, teens, health care choices, heath care decisions, transitions, adult-based care, adult health care, transitioning out of pediatric care, filling a prescription, selecting a doctor, care provider, medical care, health insurance limitations, health care, healthcare, teenagers, kids health, teens health,, CD1Transition of Care, CD1Autism, CD1Transition of Care01/26/200906/04/201806/04/2018Steven Dowshen, MD06/01/20183a9f2f21-00c2-4755-92cb-a336b5203acfhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/teen-health-care.html/<p>You've been responsible for most — if not all — of the decisions about your child's health care. But if you have teens or preteens, now's the time to start including them in health care decisions and let them take a more active role in managing their own care.</p> <h3>Why Include Teens?</h3> <p>Adulthood is just around the corner. So now's the time to help teens take more responsibility for managing their own lives — and their health care is part of that.</p> <p>This can be as simple as having them call in a prescription and pick it up or as complex as letting them choose a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/adult-care.html/">new care provider</a>. This helps teens learn about planning in advance, making choices, and being accountable for themselves. These are skills they'll need in adulthood.</p> <h3>Involving Kids</h3> <p>As the parent of any preteen or teen knows, giving kids new responsibilities doesn't necessarily mean that they'll follow through. It's still up to you to encourage, remind, reinforce, and follow up on the responsibilities you give your child.</p> <p>As kids get older, it's especially important for those with chronic conditions, like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/asthma-center.html/">asthma</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toc-diabetes.html/">diabetes</a>, to learn all they can about their illnesses and be self-reliant when it comes to medical care.</p> <p>Kids with special needs and developmental disabilities can also learn to manage some (or many) aspects of their care. It often helps to get the green light first from a doctor, social worker, or other medical professional on how and when to begin moving your child into more independent living.</p> <h3>Guidelines by Age</h3> <p><strong>At around age 12:</strong></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Explain any medical conditions in age-appropriate language that your kids can understand. Then, have them repeat it back to you. This helps kids learn about their diagnoses.</li> <li>Encourage kids to spend time alone with medical professionals (without you in the room). This helps establish trust within the patient–provider relationship, and lets kids speak candidly and ask questions they might be embarrassed to ask in your presence.</li> <li>Have your kids learn what medicines they take and why. If a child has any allergic reactions to medicines, like penicillin, now's the time to share that information.</li> <li>Kids who have a chronic condition should know who to contact for medical equipment or supplies that might be needed.</li> </ul> <p><strong>At around age 14, in addition to the previous list, teens should:</strong></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Know any personal history of major medical conditions, hospitalizations, operations, or treatments.</li> <li>Be aware of family medical history (for example, does diabetes or heart disease run in the family? Did someone die of cancer?).</li> <li>Have the contact information for all current and previous doctors.</li> <li>Know how to fill a prescription and refill a prescription.</li> <li>Have a current list of medicines and dosages.</li> </ul> <p><strong>At around age 17, in addition to the previous lists, teens should:</strong></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Look into selecting an adult primary care doctor. Often, kids choose to visit the family doctor that their parents visit.</li> <li>Have or know where to get copies of medical records (for example: from school or the doctor's office).</li> <li>Know their <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/buy-health-insurance.html/">health insurance</a> information and how to contact a representative.</li> <li>Know how to get referrals to specialists, if needed.</li> <li>Know the limitations of health insurance coverage when they reach adulthood.</li> <li>Plan ahead for medical coverage as an independent when parents' coverage expires for dependents.</li> <li>If necessary, meet with the local Social Security office to apply for benefits.</li> </ul> <h3>Considerations for Kids With Special Needs</h3> <p>Kids with special needs or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/seriously-ill.html/">chronic conditions</a> may need extra support to move into adult-based health care. If your child has special health needs, consider contacting the local chapter of your child's diagnosis-specific group (for example, the <a href="http://www.nads.org/">National Association for Down Syndrome</a>) to learn how other parents helped their kids become more independent in adulthood.</p> <p>Families who've already gone through this transition can offer a wealth of information, such as which doctors specialize in treating adults with special needs, what special services are available, and what programs to look into or avoid.</p> <p>Another resource that can help are family advocacy groups. Many dedicate themselves to helping families of kids with special health care needs. For example, the nationwide <a href="http://www.familyvoices.org/">Family Voices organization</a> has local chapters that can help families make informed decisions about health care for kids with special needs.</p> <p>Now is also a good time to talk to a social worker in your area (who may be affiliated with your local hospital) to find out what federal or state-run programs your child might be eligible for in adulthood. Besides health-related services, some of these offerings might include support for finding employment, housing, and transportation.</p> <p>In some cases, you might be able to enroll your child (or at least get on the waiting list) in these programs now. Doing so now might seem early, but can pay off later, when the need for services is more immediate.</p> <div class="rs_skip rs_preserve"> <!-- TinyMCE Fix --> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/kh-video-metadata.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/kh-video-controller.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/single-young-adults-take-responsibility-en.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <h3>Leading the Way</h3> <p>Whenever possible, involve your kids in making health care decisions. Though it might take some extra effort and a bit of patience on your part at first, your kids can become more independent when managing their own health care.</p> <p>With you there to provide support and guidance along the way, your kids can take that first big leap into adulthood while still having you as a safety net.</p>Dar voz a los adolescentes en las decisiones relacionadas con el cuidado de su saludLos expertos afirman que este el momento de empezar a incluir a los adolecentes en las decisiones relacionadas con su asistencia sanitaria y de dejarles adoptar un papel activo en este tipo de cuestiones.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/teen-health-care-esp.html/18abffd2-9984-4f4e-8f69-b499fcd75841
Autism Special Needs Checklist: Teens & Young AdultsAs your child moves toward adulthood, learn the tools you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. This 6-step checklist can help. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/autism-checklist-teens.html/c804c650-ec73-4d76-bdd7-d67370bfaf47
Cerebral Palsy Checklist: Teens & Young AdultsIf your teen has cerebral palsy, there's a lot to know. This checklist makes it easy to determine what programs and services might be needed as your teen nears adulthood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cp-checklist-teens.html/5d460cde-6713-4360-ac8e-560c01a2fb18
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
Financial Planning for Kids With Special NeedsThese 10 steps can help take the anxiety and worry out of your child's financial future and make sure that your child will be taken care of even after you're gone.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/needs-planning.html/7a324c71-2f03-404e-80de-e94bee1e2f04
Going to the DoctorWhen you go to the doctor for a checkup, it's because your parents and your doctor want to see that you're growing just the way you should. Read all about what happens at the doctor's office.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/going-to-dr.html/774360dd-bc09-4437-bfa5-5a870d31fd39
Health Insurance BasicsTaking charge of your own health care is a big step, and it can be a little overwhelming. Here's a quick crash course on insurance for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/insurance.html/c6993fac-256c-4d61-befb-dbcaaf6397ca
Health Insurance: Cracking the CodeHealth insurance has a language all its own. This article for teens explains what some key terms mean.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hmo-language.html/80a4854f-4bc9-4cd9-ac1e-282f779cfa3d
How to Fill a PrescriptionTaking responsibility for your own health care means understanding things like prescriptions. Read our tips for teens on filling a prescription.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/rx-filled.html/97c41332-0c93-4150-8c40-fb658ba1399c
How to Find Affordable Health CareFinding coverage for your kids may be difficult, but it's not impossible. Many kids are eligible for government or community programs, even if their parents work. Learn what resources are available to your family.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/find-care.html/bd937742-3ea6-44a2-9f5e-c748935aea39
Preparing Your Child for Visits to the DoctorWhen kids know they're "going to the doctor," many become worried about the visit. Here's how to help them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dr-visits.html/b68e9bb7-500a-4840-a4f1-f15f6998364b
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
Talking to Your DoctorYour best resource for health information and advice is your doctor - the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-doctor.html/d70c612b-127b-47b2-a920-b30c5ca1b966
Transition of Care: Crohn's Disease Most teens with Crohn's disease should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Here's how parents can help them do that.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toc-crohns.html/76fd49fe-28d4-445f-aef2-dfa7bfaef46a
Transition of Care: DiabetesMost teens with diabetes should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Here's how parents can help them do that.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toc-diabetes.html/481a3434-5732-4dcd-bdfa-175a882b8fd9
Transition of Care: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Most teens with IBD should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Here's how parents can help them do that.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toc-ibd.html/b3aced0b-c6c4-4b88-9957-8067eb5d9d82
Transition of Care: Ulcerative Colitis Most teens with ulcerative colitis should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Here's how parents can help them do that.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/toc-uc.html/be1ba480-a328-4d1c-9485-00e2d406540c
When Your Child Outgrows Pediatric CareHelp your teen or young adult make the transition from pediatric health care to adult health care. Get tips on finding a new doctor and getting health insurance.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/adult-care.html/7620379f-3ef2-4de7-b9c0-0acda3eb56cf
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
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-NAkh:genre-articlekh:genre-videokh:primaryClinicalDesignation-adolescentMedicineCaring for Your Childhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hearthealth/livingheartcond/a5caa6fd-b063-42fe-933e-6802d2bf0897Family Lifehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/positive/family/3d677196-be08-46bb-ab9a-8e1460e9bdf7Managing Health Carehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cerebralpalsy-center/cp-healthcare/c3441eff-b2e9-402b-a9e4-caa7dd66cae4Caring for a Seriously or Chronically Ill Childhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/system/ill/079ac5d4-e734-4351-a7f0-3bd2b4dd9d93Living With Diabeteshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diabetes-center/living-diabetes/5a968d25-3c67-4e70-bae8-74e297508436Cancer Treatment & Preventionhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-center/treatment/9b82611a-8da8-4937-991c-407024862b68