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Accepting birth through 18 years of age
 

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Growth & Development



Bright Futures Patient Handout: 18-21 Year Visits

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Physical Growth and Development

Your Daily Life

  • Visit the dentist at least twice a year.

  • Protect your hearing at work, home, and concerts.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods.

  • Eat breakfast every morning.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Make sure to get enough calcium.

    • Have 3 or more servings of low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk and other low-fat dairy products each day.

  • Aim for 1 hour of vigorous physical activity.

  • Be proud of yourself when you do something well.

Risk Reduction

Healthy Behavior Choices

  • Support friends who choose not to use drugs, alcohol, tobacco, steroids, or diet pills.

  • If you use drugs or alcohol, you can talk to us about it. We can help you with quitting or cutting down on your use.

  • Make healthy decisions about your sexual behavior.

  • If you are sexually active, always practice safe sex. Always use a condom to prevent STIs.

  • All sexual activity should be something you want. No one should ever force or try to convince you.

  • Find safe activities at school and in the community.

Violence and Injury Prevention

Violence and Injuries

  • Do not drink and drive or ride in a vehicle with someone who has been using drugs or alcohol.

    • If you feel unsafe driving or riding with someone, call someone you trust to drive you.

  • Always wear a seat belt in the car.

  • Know the rules for safe driving.

  • Never allow physical harm of yourself or others at home or school.

  • Always deal with conflict using nonviolence.

  • Remember that healthy dating relationships are built on respect and that saying “no” is OK.

  • Fighting and carrying weapons can be dangerous.

Emotional Well-Being

Your Feelings

  • Figure out healthy ways to deal with stress.

  • Try your best to solve problems and make decisions on your own.

  • Most people have daily ups and downs. But if you are feeling sad, depressed, nervous, irritable, hopeless, or angry, talk with me or another health professional.

  • We understand sexuality is an important part of your development. If you have any questions or concerns, we are here for you.

Social and Academic Competence

School and Friends

  • Take responsibility for being organized enough to succeed in work or school.

  • Find new activities you enjoy.

  • Consider volunteering and helping others in the community on an issue that interests or concerns you.

  • Form healthy friendships and find fun, safe things to do with friends.

  • As you get older, making and keeping friends is important. You may find that you drift away from some of your old friends—that's normal.

  • Evaluate your friendships and keep those that are healthy.

  • It is still important to stay connected with your family.

© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics
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