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Checkups at 17 Years

[17 Year Old Quiz]

What Can Your Child Do at Seventeen?

His dating rules:

  1. encourage double dating
  2. no dating someone 2 years older or younger
  3. always tell his parents where he is
  4. always home on time and at a reasonable hour
  5. no drinking and driving
  6. no unchaperoned parties
  • What you say is still important to him. Therefore, be quick to praise, slow to anger, and constantly reassuring about his positive qualities.
  • Driving is a privilege, not a right. Because of the danger associated with irresponsible use of your car, misuse should be strongly disciplined.
  • If she has a part time job, she must take care of her first jobs in family interaction and schoolwork. If not, she should quit her job.
  • Acne is primarily caused by inherited tendencies. His diet has no effect on his acne. But hair spray and facial creams may worsen acne.
  • She may be more independent and home less often.
  • 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 result.
  • 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.
  • Give her a multivitamin with iron daily if she is a picky eater or has heavy periods. Milk or other calcium-containing foods are important in the teenage years to prevent later osteoporosis (thinning of the bones).


He should be up to date on his immunizations.

Tests to Be Done

  • She may have an analysis of her urine on her checkup. This checks for kidney disease, diabetes, and bladder infections. A hematocrit will be done for her since heavy periods can cause anemia.
  • A tuberculin (TB) skin test may be needed if he 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" to you 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. According to research, her morals are likely to be very similar to yours eventually.
  • 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, alcohol, or tobacco himself.
  • She should do daily chores.
  • 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.
  • 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 go to R-rated movies at this age. Do not give her the freedom to see any movie, but screen her choices by seeing them first, reading newspaper reviews, or searching the internet. 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 toward 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 ________



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

  1. The 2 most likely events that keep a girl from ever marrying are to have a baby unwed and to not  graduate from high school (True or False).
  2. Almost all 17-year-olds have had sex at least once (True or False).
  3. If used properly condoms almost always prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS (True or False).
  4. Teenagers who are sexually active usually do well in school and feel great about themselves and avoid alcohol use (True or False).
  5. Cigarettes seldom cause problems until someone is 50 years old or older (True or False).
  6. Chewing tobacco is one of the most frequent causes of mouth, lip, and throat cancer (True or False).
  7. Almost everyone who tries marijuana will eventually try harder drugs (True or False).
  8. In most cases of rape the girl does not know the rapist (True or False).
  9. When a girl gets a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia she is much more likely to become sterile as a teenager than if she gets these in her 20's (True or False).
  10. Teenagers who go to church frequently usually make better grades, feel better about themselves, and seldom get in trouble compared to teenagers who do not go to church (True or False).
  11. People who go to church often are more likely to live longer, have a better marriage, and less stress in their lives (True or False).
  12. Divorce of parents increases sexual abuse, date rape, juvenile delinquency, depression, and suicide in their children (True or False).
  13. Divorced persons do not live as long and are financially worse off than married persons (True or False).
  14. People who cohabit before marriage are more likely to have a successful marriage (True or False).
  15. Physical abuse of the partner is more likely to occur in cohabitation than in marriage (True or False).
  16. The level of commitment is lower in cohabitation leading to sexual intercourse with others outside the relationship (True or False).
  17. Men who cohabit are much less likely to consider marriage than women who cohabit (True or False).

Answers and Explanations to Questions

1. True. Having a baby and not graduating from high school make a girl less attractive as a mate no matter how good her other qualities are.2. False. More than half of 17-year-olds have not had sex and many who have had sex have become secondary virgins, meaning that they have no intention of having sex again until marriage. 3. False. Using a condom is better than nothing but only in the sense of having 1 bullet in a gun instead of 2 in Russian roulette. If tested often enough the gun will go off and a girl will be pregnant or infected with various sexually transmitted diseases. 4. False. Sexual activity is associated with poorer school performance, lower self esteem, and increased drug and alcohol usage. 5. False. Smoking causes smelly clothes and hair, increased colds in the smoker and his friends, stained teeth, and lowers one's finances through this costly habit. 6. True. Chewing tobacco is not a safe way to use tobacco. 7. False. Only a portion of marijuana users go on to harder drugs, but it is the entry way into hard drug usage by putting the persons inside the drug culture where they have the contacts to go further. 8. False. About 3 out of 4 rapes occur with the girl knowing the rapist. As many as 1 in 4 young women of college age have been raped or had an attempted rape by an acquaintance. 9. True. Teenage girls are more prone to the scarring from sexually transmitted diseases that leads to pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal pregnancies, and inability to ever have children. 10. True. Spiritually involved teenagers are better off in many ways compared to teenagers who do not go to church. 11. True. Church involvement leads to less stress, better health, better marriages, and a longer life. 12. True. There are about 25 different major problems that are increased in the children of divorce. 13. True. Divorce shortens life on the average (even if one remarries) and tends to cause the divorcees to have more problems in their jobs and other social areas of their lives. 14. False. Cohabitation leads to more divorce if the couple ever marry, not less. 15. True. Cohabitation leads to greater chances of physical abuse than with marriage. 16. True. Sexual unfaithfulness is far more common in cohabitation than marriage. 17. True. There tends to be some differences between the sexes in their attitude toward a cohabiting  relationship. Men consider it an easy way for sex and house care without future commitment while women have higher commitment usually and see it as a step toward marriage.



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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