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Checkups at 15 Years

[15 Year Old Quiz]

What Can Your Child Do at Fifteen?

  • He will soon be driving a car as a student driver. This is a good time to teach him that driving is a privilege, not a right. Because of the danger associated with irresponsible use of your car, misuse should be strongly disciplined.
  • She may want to have a part time job in the near future. Be sure that she understands that her first "job" is her family interaction and her second "job" is her school work. Employment should not hinder her first two "jobs."
  • He may be very concerned about his body's changes. He may seem distant and unconcerned about what you say. But what you say is still important to him. Therefore, be quick to praise, slow to anger, and constantly reassuring about his positive qualities.
  • Acne is primarily caused by inherited tendencies. Her diet has no effect on her acne. But makeup, hair spray, and other creams may worsen acne.
  • He is physically almost an adult. However, maturity level will lag behind because maturity depends on age and experience. Therefore, your teen needs to be flexibly guided for his own good.
  • Teenage periods may be quite painful to your daughter. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, or Nuprin) is a great drug for menstrual cramps, but should be started as soon as or before her period begins to have the best effect.
  • He has the reasoning ability to project far into the future and be concerned about his career, marriage, and family life.

What Can Your Child Eat?

  • She should exercise 3-4 times a week to help control her weight.
  • His daily brushing and flossing of his teeth will prevent decay and gum disease. Flossing is the more important of the two.
  • She should have a balanced diet and should eat breakfast before school. Your example of how to eat is important since she will have the money and freedom to eat at friends' homes or at convenience stores.
  • Discourage frequent snacking by him other than with fruits or vegetables. Do not add extra salt. Have him eat a lot of fiber in cereals, fruits, and vegetables and avoid having red meat and eggs every day.
  • Milk or other calcium-containing foods are important in the teenage years to prevent later osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Give her a multivitamin with iron daily if she is a picky eater or has heavy periods.


He should be up to date on his immunizations.

Tests to Be Done

  • She may have an analysis of her urine when she visits her doctor. This checks for kidney disease, diabetes, and bladder infections. A hematocrit should be done for her since heavy periods can cause anemia.
  • A tuberculin (TB) skin test may be needed if your teen has been exposed to someone with TB, a chronic cough, IV drug use, HIV disease (AIDS), recent prison time, time in a developing country, or if required by school or insurance.

Accident Prevention

  • Risk-taking is a common problem among teenagers, especially boys who are trying to assert their masculinity. He needs to have limits set on the use of your car, firearms, electrical equipment, and power tools. Take these privileges away if he is acting irresponsibly.
  • It is best to know where she is at all times. She may complain that you don't trust her, but if you state the request with genuine concern about her welfare, she will probably accept this rule.
  • Tell him to avoid drugs and alcohol and to wait on sexual activity until marriage. Teaching him to act virtuous decrease his chances of drug and alcohol use and sexual activity.
  • Supervise her when she uses electrical or power equipment before letting her use it on her own.
  • He needs to know a safety plan to get out of your house in case of fire.
  • Teach her to swim with others, avoid crossing fast-moving streams, enter lakes feet first, and wear a life jacket while boating.
  • He should wear a safety helmet at all times while riding a bike, motorcycle, or motorized vehicle.

Emotional and Social Development

  • She needs some freedom and privacy to learn about life. Her property and "confessions" should be respected as with a close friend.
  • Good parents begin to "lose" their job as he matures. You should grow into a relationship with him as a respected advisor rather than the rigid director of his life that you once were.
  • She may try to shock you with new ideas and desires. Never attack her personally even if you strongly disagree with her ideas. Most likely her morals eventually will be very similar to yours.
  • Encourage him to have good academics, time with family and friends, hobbies and crafts, compassion towards the less fortunate, and positive spiritual involvement. Praise him for his strengths so as to increase his confidence.
  • Be sympathetic, without being in agreement, with her desire to dress and do the activities her friends do.
  • Avoid downgrading his friends. He probably sees their faults almost as clearly as you do.
  • Have family activities that involve the whole family. Encourage her to take an active role in planning and organizing family activities.
  • If you use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco frequently, he is more likely to use drugs himself.
  • She should not date until 15- or 16-years-old (double dating is preferable initially). The earlier she dates, the more chance of an unwed pregnancy.
  • He should continue to do chores around your home. A weekly allowance will help him develop money sense.
  • Extensive television or video games limit family interaction and discourage her creativity.
  • Be involved with his school as much as possible although his work has to be done primarily by him. Involvement with the PTA will give you some say in how he is taught.
  • Make every effort to attend her athletic events, plays, recitals, and other special occasions that occur in her life. Few things you do for her will be so important.

Moral Development of Your Child

  • Your positive example model will help him to adopt similar values as yourself.
  • She may be confused by differences between your values and what she views in others, hears on the radio, or sees in TV and movies. Discuss these differences with her and teach her the difference between right and wrong.
  • He will learn more from your example than from what you say. If you smoke and drink often, divorce easily, or have sex with many partners, he will likely repeat this in adulthood.
  • She will want to see R-rated movies at this age. Do not let her see any questionable movie that you have nor first seen yourself. Teach her to morally examine movies and TV programs.
  • About 80-90% of the sex shown on television is premarital, extramarital, or violent, and most of the marital sex is shown as unenjoyable. Unwed pregnancies, diseases, or divorces are seldom mentioned. Teach your teen how unrealistic this is.
  • Violence as shown in movies and television is usually self-serving or vengeful. If you do not want him to think of violence as acceptable behavior when he is angry or selfish, you need to limit his exposure to that philosophy.
  • It is philosophically difficult to maintain firm moral standards without some form of religious instruction. Traditional Christianity and Judaism place value on the individual, the healthy family, and compassion towards others. The media and most other world views emphasize selfishness, irresponsible lives, and hunger for possessions. This is one of the main reasons so many children, teenagers, and young adults are confused and in trouble.
  • Provide her with religious instruction. Otherwise her values will be shaped by others with whom you may not agree. One of the greatest gifts you can give her is to join a traditional Christian church or Jewish synagogue that has a good high school program.
  • Provide healthy environments for teens of both sexes to be together such as family get-togethers, church meetings, or athletic events.
  • Teenage pregnancy is not the result of a lack of knowledge about contraception. Irresponsible sex on TV, movies, and printed material and sometimes young adults taking advantage of young teenagers largely cause the problem. Do not be afraid to tell him that sex should be delayed until marriage. Studies show that if you encourage him to wait he will likely delay sexual activity.



Height ________ percentile ________

Weight ________ percentile ________

Head Circumference __________ percentile ________



hese questions, based on research, are meant to teach you and your teenager facts that will help him have a fuller life.

  1. Cigarette smoking causes a lot of heart disease (True or False).
  2. The only cancer cigarette smoking causes is lung or mouth cancer (True or False).
  3. Cigarette smoking causes strokes (when a blood vessel in the brain burst)(True or False).
  4. Cigarette smoking in pregnant women causes smaller babies which increases problems in babies (True or False).
  5. Marriage tends to cause people to have more depression and suicide because of all the responsibilities that a married person has (True of False).
  6. Married people tend to have less stress in their lives than single persons (True or False).
  7. Children from divorced families do not tend to do as well in school as do children from nondivorced families (True or False).
  8. Children from divorced families have a tendency to be less trusting even as they become older (True or False).
  9. Almost all teenagers in high school have had sex by the time they are seniors (True or False).
  10. When an older male dates and has sex with a 15-year-old girl, he usually ends up marrying her (True or False).
  11. You can get cancer from having sex (True or False).
  12. Teenagers who have sex tend to do better in school compared to teenagers who do not have sex (True or False).
  13. Teenagers who have sex are happier and less likely to be depressed (True or False).
  14. By far the most common way teenagers die is in an automobile accident where someone is drinking alcohol or high on drugs (True or False).
  15. Date rape often happens when the couple has been drinking alcohol (True or False). 

Answers and Explanations to Questions

1. True. Most people identify smoking with cancer, but it also causes a lot of heart disease and strokes. 2. False. Many other cancers such as breast, bladder, and stomach cancer are also associated with smoking tobacco. 3. True. Strokes are broken blood vessels in the brain and are one of the top ten causes of death. 4. True. One of the most common causes of small babies is cigarette smoking. 5. False. While married people, especially if they have children, have more responsibilities generally than single persons, they tend to be happier and have less depression. 6. False. Married persons have more stress, but also seem to be able to handle stress better, probably because the stress is shared with their spouse. 7. True. Divorce is associated with many problems in children and teens including poorer results in school. 8. True. Studies have shown that as children from divorced families age into teenagers and even young adults that they tend to be less trusting than those children from an intact family. 9. False. More than 50% of seniors have not had sex and many of the seniors who had previously had sex had experienced it only once or twice. 10. False. Older teenagers and adults who date young teenage girls are taking advantage of their inexperience because they seldom have the ability or desire to marry the girl whether she becomes pregnant or not. 11. True. Human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease that leads to cancer of the endometrium  in females and genitals and males. The earlier one is exposed to this virus the greater the chances of developing  cancer which makes it especially dangerous for teenager to catch. Also condoms are ineffective because in infected persons, the virus is all over the perineum (bathing-suit area). 12. False. Students who are sexually active do more poorly in school perhaps because the sex becomes the focus of their lives. 13. False. On average, teenagers who are sexually active are less happy, more likely to be depressed, and even suicidal at a higher rate. 14. True. Alcohol or drugs are responsible for about half of all automobile accidents involving students. 15. True. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and may cause a girl to allow herself into a circumstance where rape is more likely. Also, alcohol which is often mixed with other drugs intentionally may cause the girl to pass out and be powerless to avoid rape.



The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000
We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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