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Time to let go

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Denise Lenarz,MD

It’s graduation season. A time where many of us recognize our little ones are growing up and able to take on more responsibility.

When your child reaches 13, it may be time to grant independence for health check-ups. Granted, until your child is 18, you have to accompany her/him to the clinic but do you really need to be in on the appointment?

A recent poll found that nine out of 10 parents said they go to routine checkup with their teenagers. A third said that the health care provider spoke privately with their teen. Two-thirds of parents completed the health history forms without consulting the patient.

Help prepare your child for adulthood

Start the process when your child is 11 or 12. To have your child take a more active role:

  • Ask your child to write down questions or concerns before the visit
  • Discuss vaccine benefits with your child
  • Have your child complete health history forms
  • Let your child speak first at the appointment

Access to medical information

State and federal laws protect the privacy of health information for any child 12 years or older. Beginning at age 12, parents only are able to view and print their child’s immunization record in MyChart (online medical record). Children are encouraged to set up their own MyChart account to access their information as needed.

You always should be available for your child, but there is a time to let go.