Summertime.  Heat.  Vacation.  Lemonade.  Annual checkups and sports pre-participation physicals.  (If your teenager needs a sports form completed before Fall sports practices begin, please call our offices today to schedule an appointment!)

Annual checkups are extremely important opportunities for children, teenagers, and parents to discuss physical, emotional, school, and social issues with their pediatrician within their own medical home.  Each year older is another year of complex growth and development that are occurring rapidly.  I’ve seen too many opportunities for these vital and worthwhile encounters missed by parents who think an impersonal trip to the “Doc-in-the-Box” down the street to get a form signed serves the same purpose.  It doesn’t.  Kids deserve better.

It’s also an opportunity to discuss strategies for preventing injury and illness due to risky activities and behaviors teenagers (who are generally curious and impulsive creatures) are attracted to.  While I’m sure most parents are aware of and discuss the myriad dangers their teenagers face in today’s world, the message seems to get through better when they hear it from another adult. Allow us to be that voice of authority and reason in your child’s life.

Making sure your children and teenagers continue to receive their immunizations completely and on time is a shared responsibility that we take very seriously.  This includes the respectful-but-frank discussion and administration of the human papillomavirus (HPV) series of shots.  (The hepatitis A series, Tdap booster, and meningococcal meningitis (Menactra) vaccines may also be due at the time of your child’s next visit.)

So please make sure to keep your children up-to-date on their annual checkups and current with their vaccines.  We look forward to hearing how this past year has gone at home and in school, and offer our advice on how to make this coming year healthy, productive, and safe.