AAP Patient Education Library

Search for Handouts and Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics Logo

Adolescents

Acne—How to Treat and Control It
Almost all teens get zits at one time or another. It's called acne. Whether your case is mild or severe, there are things you can do to keep it under control. Read on to find out how.
Bipolar and Mood Disorders
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Nearly 1 in every 100 kids suffers from bipolar disorder and may suffer extreme mood swings. In kids these swings can happen much more rapidly. If your child is diagnosed be sure to contact your pediatrician for advice on treatment.
Calcium and You
As you grow, you need calcium to build strong bones and a healthy body. Getting plenty of calcium while you are young also makes your bones strong and keeps them strong for your entire lifetime.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect teens as well as adults. The cause of the syndrome is unknown, but symptoms may include bouts of exhaustian, muscle ache, or sore throat. If these symptoms persist for 6 months or more your teen may have chronic fatigue syndrome.
Connecting With your Community
Deciding to Wait
No matter what you've heard, read, or seen, not everyone your age is having sex, including oral sex and intercourse. In fact, more than half of all teens choose to wait until they're older to have sex. If you have already had sex but are unsure if you should again, then wait before having sex again.
Ear Piercing
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Certain guidelines should be followed when considering ear piercings for your child. Wait until they are old enough to take care of the piercing themselves and make sure the piercing is done by a pediatrician or trained professional.
Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
Most people enjoy eating.
Expect Respect: Healthy Relationships
For Today's Teens: A Message From Your Pediatrician
Now that you are getting older, you have different health needs than you did when you were younger. However, your pediatrician is still there to help you stay healthy.
Gambling: Not a Safe Thrill
Many Americans gamble for fun. However, for young people, gambling may become a serious addiction. The chances of a young gambler getting "hooked" are far greater than those of an adult.
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents
If you've ever wondered if you're gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you're not alone. Many teens ask themselves this question. It is a normal part of life.
Get Fit, Stay Healthy
Being fit means you're in good shape, you have energy, you're active, and you don't get tired easily during the day. Most people who are fit also feel pretty good about themselves.
Health Care for College Students
College is filled with many opportunities to learn and experience life. You'll be responsible for making your own choices, including choices about your health. Following is important information to help you stay healthy and safe on your new journey.
Help Stop Teenage Suicide
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is an epidemic of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is most common in men and women in their late teens and early 20s. Because so many types of HPV have no symptoms, it is easily spread between sex partners.
Important Information for Teens Who Get Headaches
A lot of teens do. In fact, 50% to 75% of all teens report having at least one headache per month!
Medicines for ADHD: Questions From Teens Who Have ADHD
Q: What can I do besides taking medicines?
Meningococcal Disease: Information for Teens and College Students
Certain teens and young adults have a higher risk of getting meningococcal disease. College students, especially freshmen who live in dorms and military recruits, are at an increased risk compared with others in this age group. It's important to know how to protect yourself because meningococcal disease can be deadly. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about this serious illness, safe and effective vaccines, and how to stay healthy.
Message to Parents of Teen Drivers, A
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults. More than 5,500 young people die every year in car crashes and thousands more are injured. Parents can play an important role in reducing these numbers and keeping their teens alive.
Next Stop Adulthood: Tips for Parents
Paintball
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Paintball is becoming increasingly popular among teens. Paintball should be played in supervised settings only and all children should wear approved eye protection.
Parent's Guide to Teen Parties, A
As a parent, you know the importance of your teen's social life and that parties are a way to socialize and relax. But an unsupervised or poorly planned party can result in unwanted or even tragic consequences. However, parental responsibility is the key to a fun and safe party.
Parent-Teen Driving Agreement and a Message to Parents of Teen Drivers: Pediatrician Implementation Guide
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16- to 20-year-olds, accounting for about 5,500 fatalities annually and injuring thousands more. A variety of legislative measures—graduated driver licensing (GDL), minimum drinking-age and drunk-driving laws, and improved seat belt laws—are saving teens' lives, but much work remains to be done, particularly in improving the way parents handle the issue of teen driving. Parents are too often unaware of their teens' risky driving habits and while parents do place restrictions on their teens' driving, they are often not the restrictions with proven safety benefits such as prohibitions on nighttime driving and limits on the number of teen passengers.
Pelvic Exam, The
Pelvic exams are an important way to take care of your health. You should get a pelvic exam if you have ever had sex (even one time) or are having any problems with your periods.
Preparing for College
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Prepare your child to stay healthy when they leave to go to college for the first time. Make sure they have a personal care provider and all of their insurance cards. Motivate your teen to take care of themselves and to maintain a healthy diet.
Preventing Obesity in Teens
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Obesity is a serious problem for teens and, as a result, many suffer from low self esteem. Low calorie diets are not a good idea for growing teens. Instead they should work to combine healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.
Puberty—Ready or Not Expect Some Big Changes
Puberty is the time in your life when your body starts changing from that of a child to that of an adult. At times you may feel like your body is totally out of control! Your arms, legs, hands, and feet may grow faster than the rest of your body. You may feel a little clumsier than usual.
Safe Driving…A Parent's Responsibility
Staying Cool When Things Heat Up
Steroids: Play Safe, Play Fair
You play to win. You're always looking for a way to get an edge over your opponents.
Stressed? Read This.
Even though stress makes us feel uncomfortable, it's not always a bad thing. Sometimes stress can really help us deal with tough situations. A lot of stress changes our bodies quickly and helps us react to an emergency. A little stress keeps us alert and helps us work harder.
Talking With Your Teen About Sex
Children are exposed to sexual messages every day—on TV, on the Internet, in movies, in magazines, and in music. Sex in the media is so common that you might think that teens today already know all they need to about sex. They may even claim to know it all, so sex is something you just don't talk about. Unfortunately, only a small amount of what is seen in the media shows responsible sexual behavior or gives correct information.
Talking With Your Teen: Tips for Parents
Tattooing and Body Piercing
Teens get tattoos or body parts pierced for different reasons. Most teens get a tattoo or body piercing because they like the way it looks or to express themselves. Some get a tattoo or piercing to feel like part of a group. In some states and cities, you need to be 18 or have a parent's permission to get a piercing or tattoo.
Teen Acne and Diet
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: If your teen suffers from acne, they may blame the food they eat, but there is no link between food and acne. Stress, on the other hand, can trigger acne, and often food intake can be affected by stress so it may be easy to mistake the cause of the acne.
Teen Dating Violence: Tips for Parents
Teen Sleep Patterns
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: When your child reaches adolescence they go through a sleep change shift. Most teens stay up later to take part in social activities or to do homework and then suffer from a lack of sleep. Encourage your teen to drink less caffeine and to get to bed earlier each day.
Teen Suicide and Guns
Teen Suicide, Mood Disorder, and Depression: What Parents Need to Know
Thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.
Teens and Anxiety
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Teens are particularly prone to anxiety, which can be triggered by stress in relationships, peer pressure, or body image. They may be easily irritated or have trouble sleeping. Gently talk to your child about the problems that may be causing their anxiety.
Teens and Tobacco
YOU do the math!!
Testing Your Teen for Illicit Drugs: Information for Parents
Despite some bright spots, national statistics on illicit drug use are alarming.
Tips for Parents of Adolescents
Most importantly, let your teen know that he or she can talk with you and his or her doctor about dating and relationships. Offer your guidance throughout this important stage in your teen's life.
Tobacco: Straight Talk for Teens
Did you know that about 80% of teens in the United States don't smoke? They've made a healthy choice.
Understanding Irritability in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Irritability can be caused by many factors, depending on the age of the child. Irritability and mood swings are normal at any age, but if your child seems to be chronically irritable, consult your pediatrician to determine if there are any underlying conditions.
What is ADHD? Questions from Teens
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for people to concentrate or pay attention in certain areas where it is easy for others, like school or homework. The following are quick answers to some common questions:
Your Family's Mental Health: 10 Ways to Improve Mood Naturally
Great physical health is characterized by strength, flexibility, comfort, energy, endurance, and coordination. Similarly, great mental health includes feeling cheerful, hopeful, confident, resilient, adaptable, and connected to the people and world around us. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the foundation for physical and mental health.