Kids ages 11 to 14 need to go to the doctor or nurse for a “well-child visit” once a year. A well-child visit is when you take your child to the doctor for a full checkup, separate from any other visit for sickness or injury.
At these visits, the doctor or nurse can help catch problems early, when they may be easier to treat. Make the most of your child’s visit by:
- Gathering important information
- Making a list of questions for the doctor
- Helping your pre-teen or teen get more involved in the visit
- Knowing what to expect from the visit
What about cost?
Well-child visits are covered under the new Affordable Care Act. Depending on your insurance plan, your child may be able to get well-child checkups at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider.
How do I know if my child is growing and developing on schedule?
Your child’s doctor or nurse can help you identify the signs (called developmental milestones) to look for in your child. This is an important part of the well-child visit.
Some developmental milestones are related to your child’s behavior and learning, and others are about physical changes to your child’s body.
What are some of the changes I might see in my child’s feelings, relationships, and behavior?
Some developmental milestones for pre-teens and teens ages 11 to 14 include:
- More interest in their looks and clothes
- Mood swings (going quickly from happy to sad or sad to happy)
- More concern about what their friends and classmates think
- Better able to think through difficult problems
- Stronger sense of right and wrong
This is a time when some children may start showing signs of depression or eating problems.
What are some of the physical changes my child will go through?
Many kids ages 11 to 14 are going through puberty. Puberty is when a child’s body starts to develop into an adult’s body.
For girls, puberty usually happens between ages 10 and 14. For boys, it usually happens between ages 12 and 16.
Get more information about puberty to share with your kids.
You can help your child by giving her information about what changes to expect during puberty. You can also encourage your child to ask questions of other trusted adults, like a doctor or nurse.
Learn more about pre-teen and teen development.