Age 10 - Growing Independence - Beginning to Take Responsibility for Your Own Health

As you grow older, your body goes through major changes that are easy to see. But other less obvious, but equally important, changes are also occurring.  Expectations of your parents, teachers and perhaps coaches are growing.  As a teenager, you are expected to take more responsibility for managing your time, homework and social life.  With this growing independence, you and your parents should also begin thinking about how you can start taking responsibility for managing your health.  For instance, if you have asthma, do you know how to take care of it?  Would you be prepared if you had a medical emergency away from your parents? How do you learn to take care of your own health? Are you ready to participate more in your visits to the doctor?  Below are some specific things you can do to get started

Understand Your Health Issues

  • Understand your health care needs and (if applicable) disability and be able to explain your needs to others.
  • Be able to explain to others how your family’s customs and beliefs may affect health care decisions and medical treatments.
  • Know which of your symptoms need quick medical attention.

Be Prepared

  • Carry a copy of your health insurance card or a copy of it with you everyday.
  • Carry urgent treatments, such as an Epi-pen or inhalers with you.
  • Carry your important health information with you.   This could include a medical summary-diagnosis, list of medications, allergies, doctor’s numbers, drug store number.
  • Know what to do in case you have a medical emergency

Participate in Your Doctor Visits

  • Do you check-in at the front desk and fill out the behavioral survey yourself?
  • Before your doctor’s appointment do you prepare a written list of questions to ask?
  • Did you know that you can choose to see any doctor in the practice and that you can meet individually with them for part of your visit?
  • Do you call for your own doctor’s appointments or participate in making them with your parents?

 For more information see: www.gottransition.org

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