Tweens and Teens
The primary care and health challenges of adolescents differ distinctly from those of children. To meet those challenges, Muddy Creek Pediatrics works to better meet the needs of teens and their families by paying special attention to their unique needs, and providing medically sound resources we trust to our patients.
Families Managing Change
Adolescence is the transition period between childhood and adulthood. It is a normal developmental period filled with major changes in mind, body and spirit. Teens are growing and learning to manage physical maturity and sexuality, cognitive processes (ways of thinking and thought content), emotional feelings and relationships with others. Addressing the healthcare needs of our Muddy Creek teens requires not only addressing identified health concerns, but also considering the complicated interactions of developmental changes on healthcare needs, the effectiveness of treatment, health education and health promotion.
Teaching Preventative Health
As adolescents begin to take responsibility for their own health, the partnership between parents, Muddy Creek Pediatrics and our pre-teen and teen patients becomes very important. Communication, education and promotion of preventive healthcare is critical as adolescents are learning to make important life decisions on their own for the first time in their lives. Topics such as healthy eating habits, general wellness and health, pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted diseases and the effects of smoking and substance abuse are essential for open discussion. Providing health education to adolescents requires special consideration and effort to ensure understanding for both teens and their parents.
According to the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s, which has been in existence for more than 40 years and is a recognized leader in the field, the Society of Adolescent Medicine has identified seven criteria to providing healthcare to teens:
- Availability of age-appropriate services
- Visibility of adolescent, preventive, healthcare guidelines
- Quality care
- Confidentiality of medical information requiring adolescent consent (with encouragement of family involvement)
- Affordability of access to care
- Flexibility of healthcare providers to recognize and respond to individual and diverse needs of adolescents
- Coordination of medical, mental health, social and other services
One of our favorite resources for teen topics is KidsHealth.org. Created by the Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media, KidsHealth has a physician-directed, professional editorial staff expert at making these often complex and sensitive medical topics understandable. Since 1995, KidsHealth has been the #1 most-visited, most-recognized online source of information about children’s health and development.
Most of KidsHealth’s funding comes from Nemours, one the nation’s largest nonprofits dedicated to children’s health care, research, advocacy, and education. Additional support through partnerships with children’s health care providers, corporations, foundations, and other groups that support the mission of KidsHealth — as well as individual donors — helps to fund additional KidsHealth educational programs for families.