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Bright Futures Patient Handout: Early Adolescent Visits (11-14 years)


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Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to you and your family.

How You are Doing

  • Enjoy spending time with your family. Look for ways to help out at home.

  • Follow your family's rules.

  • Try to be responsible for your schoolwork.

  • If you need help getting organized, ask your parents or teachers.

  • Try to read every day.

  • Find activities you are really interested in, such as sports or theater.

  • Find activities that help others.

  • Figure out ways to deal with stress in ways that work for you.

  • Don't smoke, vape, use drugs, or drink alcohol. Talk with us if you are worried about alcohol or drug use in your family.

  • Always talk through problems and never use violence.

  • If you get angry with someone, try to walk away.

Healthy Behavior Choices

  • Find fun, safe things to do.

  • Talk with your parents about alcohol and drug use.

  • Say "No!" to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and sex. Saying "No!" is OK.

  • Don't share your prescription medicines; don't use other people's medicines.

  • Choose friends who support your decision not to use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Support friends who choose not to use.

  • Healthy dating relationships are built on respect, concern, and doing things both of you like to do.

  • Talk with your parents about relationships, sex, and values.

  • Talk with your parents or another adult you trust about puberty and sexual pressures. Have a plan for how you will handle risky situations.

Your Growing and Changing Body

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.

  • Visit the dentist twice a year.

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing sports.

  • Be a healthy eater. It helps you do well in school and sports.

    • Have vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains at meals and snacks.

    • Limit fatty, sugary, salty foods that are low in nutrients, such as candy, chips, and ice cream.

    • Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.

    • Eat with your family often.

    • Eat breakfast.

  • Choose water instead of soda or sports drinks.

  • Aim for at least 1 hour of physical activity every day.

  • Get enough sleep.

Your Feelings

  • Be proud of yourself when you do something good.

  • It's OK to have up-and-down moods, but if you feel sad most of the time, let us know so we can help you.

  • It's important for you to have accurate information about sexuality, your physical development, and your sexual feelings toward the opposite or same sex. Ask us if you have any questions.

Staying Safe

  • Always wear your lap and shoulder seat belt.

  • Wear protective gear, including helmets, for playing sports, biking, skating, skiing, and skateboarding.

  • Always wear a life jacket when you do water sports.

  • Always use sunscreen and a hat when you're outside. Try not to be outside for too long between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, when it's easy to get a sunburn.

  • Don't ride ATVs.

  • Don't ride in a car with someone who has used alcohol or drugs. Call your parents or another trusted adult if you are feeling unsafe.

  • Fighting and carrying weapons can be dangerous. Talk with your parents, teachers, or doctor about how to avoid these situations.

The information contained in this handout should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. Original handout included as part of the Bright Futures Tool and Resource Kit, 2nd Edition.

Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of external resources. Information was current at the time of publication.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not review or endorse any modifications made to this handout and in no event shall the AAP be liable for any such changes.

© 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.




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