Being a teenager can be challenging, especially as it relates to understanding your ever-changing body and health. The adolescent years are a critical growth period! It is important to pay attention to your body and have trusted sources of information for your health during your teen years especially. It is also important to get started early with establishing lifelong habits to protect your well-being. Read on for more information about teens and their health.
Why are teens less likely to go see their doctor than any other age group?
Many youth find that as they grow and enter their tween and teen years they may start to feel embarrassed or self-conscious to be in a pediatric office with younger children. Along with normal body and hormonal changes, teens can find that their relationships change as well. A formerly easy-going relationship with a healthcare provider or pediatrician may become awkward or uncomfortable. For these and other reasons, many teens would simply prefer to avoid going to see a doctor at all!
Why is it important for teens to visit their doctor regularly?
It is important for teens to visit their healthcare provider regularly for several reasons:
- This is an important period of life where you are experiencing rapid growth and development, both physically and emotionally.
- It is a period of time where you are developing behaviors and habits that will influence the rest of your life and it is important that you have accurate information to help you make decisions that impact your health now and into the future.
- Teens who have chronic health conditions like allergies, asthma, diabetes or sports injuries benefit from regular doctor visits to ensure that their symptoms are being monitored and that treatment can be adjusted as needed.
- All teens can benefit from regular immunizations, health education and a provider who partners with them to address early warning signs of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions and more.
What health risks do teens face?
Health risks that face today’s teens include:
- Sexual Activity
Is teen emotional health just as important as physical health?
Absolutely! Emotional health is just as important as physical health, especially for teens.
- Teens face many challenges and stressors, which can lead to eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol.
- Teen suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 15-24. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teens have an annual screening for depression, and screenings are recommended if you notice changes in your mood or behavior that last more than a week, or changes in the level of enjoyment you receive from participating in activities.
Should teens be responsible for their own healthcare?
As teens grow older and more responsible it makes sense for them to take the initiative and become more responsible for their own health and healthcare.
- If you take any medications, you can start by becoming responsible for making sure that you take them as scheduled and that your prescriptions are refilled on time.
- Encourage your parents to let you have some time to speak with your medical provider alone so that you can ask any questions that you might feel uncomfortable asking with your parent in the room. Seeking answers from a knowledgeable and trusted healthcare provider about any concerns you might have is also showing responsibility for your own health and well-being.
At Mosaic our team of providers enjoys partnering with people of all ages and backgrounds to meet their unique health needs. Learn more here.