Teens ages 15 to 17 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 teen 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 teen’s visit by:
- Gathering important information
- Making a list of questions for the doctor
- Helping your 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 teen may be able to get well-child checkups at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider.
How do I know if my teen 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 teen. This is an important part of the well-child visit.
Some developmental milestones are related to your teen’s behavior and learning, and others are about physical changes to your teen’s body.
What are some of the changes I might see in my teen’s feelings, relationships, and behavior?
Some developmental milestones for teens ages 15 to 17 include:
- More interest in sex and romantic relationships
- Less time spent with parents and family and more time spent with friends
- More worry about the future (like going to college or finding a job)
- Less fighting with parents than during ages 11 to 14
This is a time when some children may start showing signs of depression or eating problems. Your teen may also have a girlfriend or boyfriend.
What are some of the physical changes my teen will go through?
Teens ages 15 to 17 are typically finishing puberty. Puberty is when a child’s body starts to develop into an adult’s body.
Every child starts going through puberty at a different age. Many girls will be done by age 15, while boys may continue to grow and change until age 17 or older.
Get more information about puberty to share with your kids.
Teens might not ask you questions about sex, their bodies, and relationships. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to start the conversation.