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What You Can Expect at a Teen Well Check at Age 14–16

After many routine preschool and school-aged well visits, teenagers are likely to have a comfortable relationship with their Cumming pediatrician. Visits at this time offer children a chance to communicate many issues they’re experiencing through the ages of 14–16. The following steps can help teens become healthy, safe and confident as they move closer to adulthood.

A teen getting a wellness checkup by a pediatrician in Cumming

What to Expect From a Teen Well-Child Visit at Ages 14–16

From diet and nutrition to body image, there are many aspects to a teenager’s health and well-being at ages 14–16. Let’s examine some of the main features of a well check with your local pediatrician.

A Teen’s Diet and Nutrition

BMI is a measure of weight adjusted for height and helps us accurately assess the level of body fat and overall health of your child.

  • Underweight is < 5th percentile.
  • Healthy weight is 5th – 84th percentile.
  • Overweight is 85th – 95th percentile.
  • Obese is > 95th percentile.
  • Morbidly obese is > 99th percentile.

As always, it is important to remember that children should never cut calories or diet. This can result in a disruption in their normal growth patterns and may prevent them from taking in nutrients that they need for normal growth and development of organs. We strongly encourage that they learn to make healthy choices, eat appropriate portion sizes and stay active.

Currently, in the US, school age children are consuming 10% of dietary energy in the form of juices and soft drinks. These should be treats and not given on a daily basis. Now is the time for your children to learn the correct concepts of good nutrition.

Sleep Habits for a Teenager

Sleep is very important to overall health and well-being in children – a typical school aged child requires about 10 hours of sleep every night. They still need predictable bedtime routines and need “down time” that is not interrupted by television or other forms of stimulation (computers, cell phones, caffeinated beverages). Engaging with this need for sleep is just one of the reasons why pediatrician well-child visits are important for teens.

Independence-Dependence Struggle With Your Teen

As teens become more independent they will often show less interest in family and increasing interest in peers. Parents can maintain a positive relationship during this time by showing affection, modeling desired behaviors, plus openly discussing problem-solving strategies. Balanced with clear expectations and consequences, encouraging independent decision-making in adolescents is essential. This approach helps achieve a balance between dependence and independence in teen development.

A Teenager’s Body Image Concerns

From ages 14 to 16, the influence of peer groups becomes increasingly noticeable in shaping a teenager’s body image concerns. Adolescents often become intensely involved in their peer subcultures, and will conform to a peer group’s attitudes and style of dress to help establish their identity as they move towards independence.

This period also sees increased involvement in relationships, and active participation in various social groups, including team sports, school or special interest clubs – and sometimes even gangs. Within these environments, the way that adolescents react to peer pressure will vary. While peer pressure will sometimes certainly lead to negative behaviors, it can also inspire a desire to succeed in positive activities such as academics and sports.

Identity Development of a Teen

In middle adolescence, teens experience a growth in abstract thinking and reasoning, enhancing their individuality and empathy towards others. Maturing teens often show increased creativity and intellectual ability, along with more concrete vocational aspirations. However, youthful energy and a sense of immortality can often lead to risk-taking behaviors, and this can also be addressed during a routine well check.

Risk Reduction for Your Teen

To reduce risks for your teen, it’s essential to stay informed about where and with whom they spend their leisure time. Setting clear rules and defining acceptable behavior is crucial during these years. With teens often experimenting with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, it’s important to have open discussions with your children and make them aware of the dangers. At this age, it’s also worthwhile to set limits and expectations about the responsibilities of driving.

If your teen is sexually active, stress the importance of protecting themselves and their partner(s) from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Emphasize that healthy dating and relationships must be based on mutual respect, concern and engagement in activities that both parties enjoy. You can also make clear that kids should avoid violent situations, and call for help if they are in danger.

Visit Our Cumming Office for a Teen Well Check Appointment

At Vickery Pediatrics, we are committed to supporting children’s health and development through regular well-child checkups. We provide valuable information and guidance for families in Cumming, Buford, Dawsonville, Gainesville, Johns Creek, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Forsyth County and the surrounding areas. To reach us, call (678) 990-2501 or request an appointment today.


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