Our favorite website for years has been from the Teen providers at Children’s Hospital in Boston. They have tons of great information on the types of questions we answer everyday. Scroll down this page for links.
For girls visit http://youngwomenshealth.org/
For boys visit http://youngmenshealthsite.org/
Another great general website is Teens Health from Nemours.
Visit at http://kidshealth.org/teen/.
Have you been bothered by your acne but don’t know what to do? Come talk to us! Educate yourself first on the AcneMonth.com website, then print out their list of ways to start a conversation with your doctor and schedule a time to see us. Click here to link to their conversation starters:
Probably more than any other issue, birth control is the topic where our teens seem to have lots of questions, and a lot of wrong answers. You can always come talk to us about birth control – options we offer include birth control pills, “depo” shots, and the Nuva Ring. We also can discuss the importance of emergency contraception, and when it may need to be used.
For more information before your visit, you can go to:
Are your friends constantly talking about “being fat”? Are you confused about what is healthy eating or what is a healthy weight for you? Its no surprise- there is a lot of confusing information out there! Plus, many adults may have outdated or distorted views of what is healthy. Come see us at the Teen Center if you are worried. In the meantime a great place to start reading is this handout from the National Eating Disorder Association just for teens:
BMI (Body Mass Index):
BMI is a calculation used to compare your weight to your height. This gives your doctor a rough estimation of percent body fat and used to determine if you might be underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. When combined with your family history, and a good diet and exercise history – it can help us determine if you are at risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
Sometimes we may find that your BMI is greater than the 84th percentile. We know teens in this range are the most likely to be at risk for medical problems. By talking with your doctor, you decide if changes need to be made.
One website we like just for teens about healthy diet and exercise choices:
Did you know almost half of the respondents in a recent survey of public and private high school students said they had been the victims of bullying? If you would like to read more go to:
Did you know that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death 11-18 year olds? In addition, 8% of all students age 12-17 years old have had at least one episode of what doctors consider a “major depressive episode” in the past year.
Teens often do not get the help they need for depression and suicide. If you feel sad a lot or have had thoughts about hurting yourself you could be depressed.
For more information go to:
If you are in crisis talk to a safe adult right away or: Call 1-800-273-TALK
There are many other questions teens have about their mental health. This site is just for teens.
DRINKING and DRIVING:
Did you know car crashes are the leading cause of death for Americans 15-20 years old?
Get smart and learn how to say “no” to drinking and driving. Get started by visiting the SADD website:
When do I need to see the gynecologist?
Our most frequently asked question! The current recommendations for health screening are that pap smears are not required before age 21 years old. This is a service that we provide in the Teen Center for our older female teen patients. However, many teen girls will have gynecologic issues – such as problems with heavy periods, cramps, or even infrequent periods. We can help with many of these problems and a pelvic exam is not always needed.
IT GETS BETTER project:
Many teens know that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. They may be bullied during their teen years. They may not be able to picture life as an openly gay adult. Many teens are shy to even talk with our providers about these topics, but you can.
If you missed it on Glee and you want to read more you can go to:
Many teens and their parents think that “sports drinks” will improve their performance in sports. We know that for most student athletes, the only time they might be needed is for exercise lasting longer than one hour. When you do not feel like drinking enough water during exercise, the flavor of sports drinks can make them more enticing, which can keep you drinking. But remember, water is still best and what your body needs.
The average small teenager needs 8 ounces of fluids for every 20 minutes exercising. In addition, most need about 6-12 ounces of fluids prior to exercise. After exercise, all athletes need to drink 16-24 ounces of fluids for every pound loss during activity. In hot and humid weather especially, consider weighing yourself before and after exercise.
For more about exercise nutrition in general and drinks for sports please see the AAP handout:
What about energy drinks? The official position of the AAP is that there is no place for these in the diet of children and adolescents.
Read this article to find out more:
STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections):
What is an STI? How do I know if I have one? Am I at risk?
Teens ask us these questions every day at the Teen Center- and we can help. Talking about risk factors and getting the real facts is the first step.
Did you know that chlamydia is the most common STI in young people aged 15-24 years old? We can test for it, often with a simple urine test, and it can be treated with antibiotics.
To read more before your visit go to:
Did you know most people get 80% of their lifetime sun exposure in the first 18 years of life? In addition, lots of teens view tanning beds as safe, but they are not. We are seeing an increase in melanoma, a type of skin cancer, especially in young women.
Avoid tanning beds and learn more about how to protect yourself in the sun by visiting:
Did you know 3 out of 10 girls will have been pregnant by age 20 years old?
Educate yourself and learn how to stay a teenager while you are a teenager – go to Stay Teen:
Did you know less than 60% of American teens are current with the recommended vaccines for tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, meningitis, hepatitis A, and varicella? Coming in for a well check up is a great way to stay current on recommended vaccines.
See what diseases vaccines cover.
Many of our teens ask specifically about vaccination for HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus. This is the infection that causes cervical cancer in adult women but we now know it can cause other types of cancer and it can cause cancers in men too.
To read more about HPV you can go to:
For more information about Gardasil, the HPV vaccine we use in the Teen Center, you can read more on their website: