Parents of Teens

This section is intended for parents seeking information about their teenagers.
​Teens can find information for themselves by clicking on the teens tab above or at the bottom of the page.


Recommended Visits:

We follow the American Academy of Pediatric's (AAP's) Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care and recommend annual visits at ages 12+ for your adolescent-aged child. 

Sports Physical Requirements:

What are the sport physical requirements and why are they required annually for athletes?
Sports can help teens discover their mental and physical strengths and begin building physical activity habits that contribute to a lifetime of healthy behavior. Annual sports physicals are important in order to reduce risk of physical injury during organized sports. These physicals contain two parts. First is a pre-participation questionnaire, followed by the actual physical exam. School sports physical forms are required to be completed annually after May 1st for participation in sports during the next academic year. The annual requirement prompts the athlete to be reevaluated regularly to ensure his or her risk for injury has not changed from the previous year. The Children's Clinic also uses the sports physical appointment to conduct a comprehensive adolescent health exam including screening for mental health issues, educating on healthy relationships, monitoring for chronic diseases, and providing immunizations. This more comprehensive exam is why we encourage teens to get their sports physicals at the Children's Clinics rather than doing it at the big sports physical days hosted by other clinics in the community who are focused in those moments on the more narrow requirements the schools ask about.

Please fill out the pre-participation form as much as you can prior to the appointment. A link to the form is in the bullet points above.

Lab Results:

How do I access lab results?
We generally send all of our labs that cannot be analyzed at the Children's Clinic to the laboratory at St. Vincent Healthcare. While our providers will set up a plan with you for communicating results, many parents like to review results in MyChart on their own time. Unfortunately, labs run at St. V's will not show up in the Children's Clinic MyChart. As a result, please call your Children's Clinic provider to discuss results.

Our Policy on Development and Behavior Screenings:

Screening Tools:
As pediatric providers, we want to receive the most accurate information to help us lead to the best diagnosis for your child. For further information regarding an individual screening tool, please click on the appropriate link below:

Children's Clinic Well Patient Questionnaire is used at all well-patient visits conducted at the Children's Clinic to help identify families who may need resources for food insecurity and to determine if patients are receiving dental and vision care elsewhere so that we do not duplicate and charge for care your child already has access to.

Asthma Control Test (ACT) is a five question tool that provides a numerical score to help your healthcare provider determine if your asthma symptoms are well controlled.

General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) is a useful tool in primary care for measuring the severity of anxiety systems.

Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is used for screening, diagnosing, monitoring, and measuring the severity of depression. We screen all patients for depression starting at age 12 and at all well child exams after that.

Vanderbilt Assessment Scales are used by healthcare providers to help diagnose ADHD in children. The initial assessment scales are completed by a parent and a teacher. We then use separate follow up Vanderbilt assessments to determine how well symptoms are controlled and the effectiveness of treatment.

Our Policy on One-on-One Time with Your Teen:

We are here to support you as you support your adolescent and begin preparing them for adulthood. It is critical that teens learn how to talk to a healthcare provider about health issues. Like most things, learning any skill is best done by practicing over time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that adolescents have the opportunity to discuss their healthcare privately with their provider. We follow this practice. Children's Clinic providers typically ask parents/caregivers to step out of the exam room for a portion of your adolescent's exam starting at age 12. We are not here to take the place of a parent or guardian or to get your teen to talk behind your back. However, this one-on-one time gives adolescents an opportunity to take some degree of ownership over their own medical care and helps transition them to young adulthood (hopefully instead of just nodding “yes” or mumbling “no” to a series of questions!).  It also gives adolescents the opportunity to share information about their health that they may not yet feel comfortable talking to parents about, but are important issues for their healthcare provider to know about to provide good care.

We know it can be uncomfortable not being part of a portion of the visit. We, as pediatric providers, fully acknowledge that parents know their kids best, and the last thing we want to do is undermine that relationship. This is why we want you to continue to be part of your kids' care. And we always encourage strong communication between adolescents and their parents, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may be for them to discuss with you. Furthermore, we often provide coaching during that one-on-one time with the adolescent on how to talk to their parents about their health and what's on their mind. However, if adolescents don't have time to talk with a trusted provider openly, we may miss the chance to give the advice, information, tests, and treatment that they need to stay safe and healthy.

What rights does your teen have to confidentiality? Confidentiality means that your teen may discuss issues with us that we will keep private. Legally adolescents have a right to confidentiality in regards to reproductive health care. However, we encourage interactions within the family and encourage teens to discuss serious issues with their parents. We offer to help facilitate this if necessary. It is also important to understand that issues of serious consequence such as suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts and abusive relationships will always be shared with parents.

Check out this great handout from the CDCon what parents can do to support their teens as they begin to build their skills at taking care of themselves and taking charge of their healthcare. It encourages preparing yourself, preparing your teen, and partnering with your teen's provider so that-- together-- we can all look out for your teen's health and well being.

Our Policy on Adolescent Immunizations:

We strongly support immunizations for all teens and believe that immunizing patients is the most important act we perform as pediatric healthcare providers.

Please take a moment to review our Immunization Schedule as well as check out the reliable information we have gathered and shared from trusted sources on our Immunizations tab.

Children's Clinic