As kids mature from childhood through adolescence, their health care needs change. Having a good relationship with a Primary Care Provider (PCP) can help with the transition.
Annual Wellness Visits
Adolescents and teens should continue to have annual preventive care (wellness) visits. Preventive care is an important part of keeping children healthy into adulthood, so make sure visits remain a priority.
At annual visits, your PCP can:
- Track changes in physical, mental and social development
- Give vaccines to protect against diseases
- Offer advice about healthy behaviors
- Discuss nutrition, proper exercise and safety measures
- Help coach your child for the transition into adulthood
- Answer questions about overall health and wellbeing
Wellness visit vs. Sport physical
An annual preventive (wellness) visit is an exam and health assessment to help monitor and treat a person’s level of health. A sports physical is an exam to help show that it is safe for an athlete to participate in a sport.
Adolescent: Ages 10 to 19.
Adolescence: The transition period between puberty and adulthood – biological, cognitive and social.
Teen, or teenager: Ages 13-19.
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See information on preventive care.
As kids grow, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off. They also become at risk for added diseases. Staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines offers the best possible protection against common preventable diseases.
The CDC recommends vaccinating every adolescent against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) before their 13th birthday. Because the immune system has a stronger response in younger years, early vaccination can help protect adolescents from HPV - before exposure to the virus occurs.
For more information on the HPV Vaccine:
The CDC also recommends that adolescents receive the Meningococcal (MCV) and Tetanus, Diphtheria and
Pertussis (Tdap) vaccines before their 13th birthday. A MCV booster is also recommended for ages 16-18.
|Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (ages 10-12)
||Protects against cervical, anal, oral and a few other rare cancers
||Two-dose series completed by age 13
|Meningococcal (MCV) (ages 10-12)
||Protects against a bacterial infection that can make the lining of the brain and spinal cord swell
||One by age 13
|Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) (ages 10-12)
||A combination vaccine that protects against three life-threatening bacterial diseases
||One by age 13
|Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18)
||Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18) Helps prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B
|Flu (all ages)
||Protects against new strains of flu viruses - respiratory infections that can cause serious complications
||One every fall or winter