Adolescent years are times of extensive mental, emotional and physiological changes. When your child is getting ready for school–either in September or after the mid-year break–facilitate the many changes they will encounter.
Let’s talk about three adolescent medicine tips to help both parents and growing children and where you can go for outstanding pediatric care in Purchase, NY.
1# Schedule Back to School or Sports Participation Physicals Well Ahead of Time
New York State requires that each school-age child undergo a back-to-school physical to ensure good health before classes begin. Many sports physicals are due at this time as well.
So, book the exam appointment well in advance of the deadline. Have the necessary paperwork ready for the doctor to complete, including the vaccination record.
2# Allow Your Child to Have Some Private Time with the Pediatrician
Adolescents always have questions or concerns about health topics, such as sexuality, acne, bullying, stress, family dynamics, alcohol, tobacco, drug usage, and more. And, frankly, they are often more comfortable speaking to their healthcare providers alone rather than having family members present.
This policy of confidentiality never extends to topics of self-harm or other dangerous life situations. Rest assured! If the provider and your adolescent speak without you in the room, you still have charge of your child’s healthcare and welfare. So, inform your child ahead of the exam appointment that some private time with the doctor is an option.
3# Family Routines Are Important
Routines that you established with your adolescent during early childhood still reap important health benefits. While it can be challenging to enforce schedules, as much stability as possible helps the whole household get back into the rigors of the school year.
The family routines you should set (and model) are the following.
Start the day with breakfast whenever possible. Have nutritious on-the-go choices, such as low-sugar protein and granola bars and breakfast sandwiches, ready for adolescents as they fly out the door for the bus or meet friends on the way to school. Studies show all kids perform better at academics when they eat breakfast. Preferably, eat dinner together as a family to provide kids time to decompress and talk about their days.
Give your adolescent a little leeway regarding bedtime. Even though teens have trouble settling down before 11 pm (say sleep experts), avoid activities that extend too long into the evening.
Your adolescent child should try for nine to nine hours of sleep in twenty-four hours. To achieve this, you might encourage an after-school nap and keep your teen off phones, computers, and other screens for one to two hours before going to bed at night. (This habit is good for parents, too.)
Thinking your adolescent child doesn’t move a lot? Between sitting in school, playing video games, and other sedentary activities, your teen may not be getting the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise they need to stay healthy, develop good bone and muscle mass, control weight, and sleep well. Again, model this good habit for your child. Practice what you preach.
Adolescent Medicine in Purchase, NY
At BridgeSpan Medicine, our six board-certified pediatricians help families get their adolescents school-ready. As always, we are available to parents and our young patients when physical, mental, and emotional challenges arise. We also emphasize preventive care through routine check-ups, immunizations, on-site lab tests, and more.
We are open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, for your convenience. If you have a question or concern or wish to schedule a physical examination, call us today at (914) 698-5544, or request an appointment online.