Children and Teens

Care for Children and Teens 

As your child gets older and enters their teenage years their bodies begin to change. This is an important time to make sure your child continues to visit the doctor each year for their wellness exam and to get any information on what you can do to keep them healthy.

Children and Teens (11 - 18 years old)

Regular well-visits with a primary care doctor is important as your child transitions into their adolescent and teenage years to ensure they are at their healthiest in their adult years.

Young children and teenagers should receive a well visit once every year with a primary care doctor. The doctor will offer advice about your child’s diet and nutrition, dental health, exercise and physical activity, social and emotional health, sun exposure, injury and violence prevention. When appropriate the doctor may also discuss alcohol misuse, sexual behavior, smoking prevention or stopping smoking, substance abuse and suicide prevention. During this exam your child may also receive immunizations (vaccinations, vaccines or shots) and developmental screenings, as your doctor advises. Select a link below to learn more about important health topics:

o   Ages & Stages: Teens

o   Raising Healthy Children & Teens: Ages 12-19

o   Risk Behaviors

o   Safety in the Home and Community

o   School Health - Parent Engagement

o   Parent information

The vaccines recommended for adolescents and teens by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be given at various stages in their life to prevent infectious diseases and other illnesses. Learn more about the recommended vaccines (shots) for adolescents and teens using the links below:

o   Recommended Immunizations  

o   Parents' Guide to Immunizations

o   HPV or Human papilloma virus vaccine

There are several important tests a young child and/or teenager need to receive as their bodies begin to change. Getting your child tested at the right time, will put them on the path to good health and development.

Blood pressure measurement: Your child’s blood pressure should be checked by their primary care doctor during a well-visit. Hypertension (high blood pressure) and other risk factors for stroke and heart disease is very common in children between the ages of 12 to 19. Learn more about blood pressure screening and management in children and teens.

BMI Counseling: Body Mass Index, or BMI is an important tool used to determine whether your child has a normal weight for their age. Your child’s primary care doctor will calculate your child’s BMI percentile every year and should discuss it with you at each well visit. Select a link below to learn more about BMI and tips for helping your child maintain a healthy body weight.

Cancer screening and counseling: Childhood and adolescent cancers can be hard to detect because they are rare and may present as normal everyday bumps and bruises. Skin cancer counseling can start at age 10 for those with fair skin. Learn more about childhood and adolescent cancers.

Cholesterol: Children with high cholesterol that is found and controlled lower their risk of heart disease when they become adults. Testing should be done at least once between ages 9 and 11, between ages 17 and 21 and every five years thereafter. Select one of the links below to learn more about cholesterol.

Depression screening: Your child’s doctor may begin screening for depression each year starting at age 11. Learn more about childhood and adolescent depression.

Dental care: Adolescents and teens should get dental checkups twice a year. Learn more about oral health:

HIV screening: Your family or primary care doctor will advise of HIV testing for teenagers starting at age 13, those who might be sexually active and can become pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV as part of a regular health care visit. Learn more about HIV:

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): All sexually active individuals should be screened for STDs, including chlamydia. Learn more about STD’s:

Vision screening: A routine vision screening should be done every year and each eye should be checked separately to rule out any problems. Learn more about vision screenings and eye Health for children & teenagers.

The Preventive Health Guidelines will help you learn more about the screenings, tests and shots that you and your family need. Information in our guidelines comes from medical expert organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Talk with your doctor to make sure your family’s medical checkups and shots are up to date.

To find out if a shot, test or screening is covered under your health plan, you can check your benefits online by signing in to your account or calling Customer Service at the phone number on the back of your member ID card.