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Well Child Visit At 11 To 14 Years
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. It is a different type of visit than when your child sees a healthcare provider because he is sick. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.
Where to take your child for well child visits:
It is best to find a medical home for your child. A medical home is a doctor's office or clinic where your child sees the same healthcare providers every time. A medical home will also keep your child's health records. The healthcare providers will get to know your child and your family so they can give him the best care. They will also make sure he receives vaccines on the recommended immunization schedule to protect him from diseases.
What happens during a well child visit at 11 to 14 years:
Ages 11 to 14 is also called early adolescence. Well child visits may change so your healthcare provider talks with your child directly. Your child's healthcare provider may do the following:
- Chart your child's weight and height
- Check your child's vision, hearing, and blood pressure
- Ask how much sleep your child gets each night and how well he is sleeping
- Check your child's teeth or tell you to take him to a dentist, and ask about your child's brushing and flossing routine
- Talk to you about your child's physical activity, and time limits of less than 2 hours a day for TV, computers, or video games
- Check for problems with your child's spine
- Talk to your child about seat belts, bicycle and sports helmets, and water safety, such as not swimming alone
- Talk to your child about school, friendships, peer pressure, and bullying
- Ask how often your child reads each day and if he is having problems with any schoolwork or subjects
- Look for signs of any emotional or mental problems in your child, such as depression
- Talk about puberty and the changes your child will go through while becoming an adult
- Check your child's skin for acne or changes in birthmarks, and talk to him about wearing sunscreen to prevent skin cancer
- Do breast and pelvic exams for girls and testicular exams for boys (when appropriate)
- Talk to your child about the health effects of smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs
- Give your child any vaccines he needs (Tdap, HPV, and meningococcal), and any catch-up doses of previous vaccines
Milestones of development your child may reach by 11 to 14 years:
Each child develops at his own pace. Your child might have already reached the following milestones, or he may reach them later:
- Breast development (girls), testicle and penis enlargement (boys), and armpit or pubic hair
- Menstruation (monthly periods) in girls
- Skin changes, such as oily skin and acne
- Not understanding that actions may have negative effects
- Focus on appearance and need to be accepted by others his own age
What you need to know about your child's next well child visit:
Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring your child in again. The next well child visit is usually at 15 to 17 years. Your child may need catch-up doses of the hepatitis B, hepatitis A, Tdap, MMR, chickenpox, or HPV vaccine. He may need a catch-up or booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine. Remember to take your child in for a yearly flu vaccine.
Changes that may happen before the next well child visit:
Your child's physical development will happen rapidly in the next few years. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about what to expect, and ask questions if you have any concerns. Your child will continue to take steps toward independence before his next well child visit. He may want to spend more time alone or with friends.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.