Growth & Development



Bright Futures Patient Handout: 15 to 17 Year Visits

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Physical Growth and Development

Your Daily Life

  • Visit the dentist at least twice a year.

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

  • Wear your mouth guard when playing sports.

  • Protect your hearing at work, home, and concerts.

  • Try to eat healthy foods.

    • 5 fruits and vegetables a day

    • 3 cups of low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese

  • Eating breakfast is very important.

  • Drink plenty of water. Choose water instead of soda.

  • Eat with your family often.

  • Aim for 1 hour of vigorous physical activity every day.

  • Try to limit watching TV, playing video games, or playing on the computer to 2 hours a day (outside of homework time) .

  • Be proud of yourself when you do something good.

Risk Reduction

Healthy Behavior Choices

  • Talk with your parents about your values and expectations for drinking, drug use, tobacco use, driving, and sex.

  • Talk with your parents when you need support or help in making healthy decisions about sex.

  • Find safe activities at school and in the community.

  • Make healthy decisions about sex, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

  • Follow your family's rules.

Violence and Injury Prevention

Violence and Injuries

  • Do not drink and drive or ride in a vehicle with someone who has been using drugs or alcohol.

    • If you feel unsafe driving or riding with someone, call someone you trust to drive you.

  • Support friends who choose not to use tobacco, alcohol, drugs, steroids, or diet pills.

  • Insist that seat belts be used by everyone.

  • Always be a safe and cautious driver.

    • Limit the number of friends in the car, nighttime driving, and distractions.

  • Never allow physical harm of yourself or others at home or school.

  • Learn how to deal with conflict without using violence.

  • Understand that healthy dating relationships are built on respect and that saying “no” is OK.

  • Fighting and carrying weapons can be dangerous.

Emotional Well-Being

Your Feelings

  • Talk with your parents about your hopes and G concerns.

  • Figure out healthy ways to deal with stress.

  • Look for ways you can help out at home.

  • Develop ways to solve problems and make good decisions.

  • It's important for you to have accurate information about sexuality, your physical development, and your sexual feelings. Please ask me if you have any questions.

Social and Academic Competence

School and Friends

  • Set high goals for yourself in school, your future, and other activities.

  • Read often.

  • Ask for help when you need it.

  • Find new activities you enjoy.

  • Consider volunteering and helping others in the community with an issue that interests or concerns you.

  • Be a part of positive after-school activities and sports.

  • Form healthy friendships and find fun, safe things to do with friends.

  • Spend time with your family and help at home.

  • Take responsibility for getting your homework done and getting to school or work on time.

© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics

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