Preparing your teen to manage their health
(BPT) - The transition from childhood to adulthood can be overwhelming for parents and teens alike. Parents know how important it is to manage their child’s health when they are young, ensuring they receive necessary medical care. However, as children become teens and young adults, and begin to take responsibility for their own health, there is often a decline in preventive care.
Preventive care is an important part of staying healthy, but many teens only visit the doctor when they’re sick, or for sports and school physicals. After age 14, preventive care visits tend to decline. Those ages 11 to 14 have three times more preventive visits than adolescents 14 years and older.
Parents play an important role in helping their teens and young adults navigate independent health choices and decisions. It’s important for parents to create an open dialogue on a wide range of important health topics, including smoking, alcohol, mental health, sexual health and immunizations.
Parents should also encourage their older teen or young adult to schedule regular checkups to ensure their medical information and other necessary medical care is up to date. These checkups can begin the transition from parental supervised health care to health care that young adults are personally responsible for.
“As children grow older, we often see a decline in regular, proactive health care visits and a gap in health-oriented discussions between teens and young adults and their parents,” says Dr. Michael Resnick, president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). “Parents need tools and resources that can help them directly engage with their children on important health-related issues, like immunizations, and encourage teens and young adults to begin to take responsibility for their own health.”
SAHM developed and launched the THRIVE app, in collaboration with Pfizer and UNITY Consortium, to empower parents with an interactive resource that provides health information, checklists and conversation starters to help them guide their teen’s transition into adulthood.
The THRIVE app is a comprehensive teen health-oriented mobile app created for parents to help teens and young adults aged 16 to 25 understand their role in and prepare to take ownership over their own health.