At the Northwestern Children's Practice, the providers offer comprehensive care for adolescents including nutrition assessments, mental health screenings, risk factor assessments, and physical exams. The Northwestern Children's Practice takes into account the full spectrum of physical and mental adolescent health. Adolescent years can have a lasting effect on a person’s overall well-being and health during their adult lives.
Adolescent visits provide an opportunity for children to begin taking responsibility for their own physical health needs, including healthy eating and exercise. Sustaining a healthy diet, being active each day, getting enough sleep, and going to annual physical exams are important parts of every adult’s life and during adolescence, these habits can be fortified. Adolescents with chronic conditions including asthma, depression, and ADHD can also start to learn coping and management skills. This gives an adolescent everything he or she will need to become a healthy adult.
Coping, resilience, and good judgment are all crucial skills that are learned during adolescence. They help young people achieve overall wellness and create a basis for positive mental health. While certain mood fluctuations are common, roughly one in five adolescents has a mental health disorder, including depression and anxiety. Keeping an eye out for warning signs and encouraging adolescents to be open about their emotions is critically important. The Northwestern Children's Practice also takes special care to assess LGBTQIA concerns and school issues in addition to offering guidance for limiting screen or media time, navigating social media, and addressing cyberbullying.
Ensuring the proper development of responsible habits is crucial during adolescence. Young people are far more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors like drunk driving, unprotected sex, drug abuse, and destructive or abusive relationships. Open conversations between the child, family, and medical provider will need to begin during adolescence and continue throughout young adulthood.
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