Teen Health Survey: Millions of Teens Not Receiving Regular Checkups

Disclosure: This sponsored post is brought to you by National Foundation for Infectious Diseases! All opinions are ours


As parents, we care about our children’s health and that they see the doctor on a regular basis for checkups. These appointments make sure that your child is healthy and does not have any health conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed. This is not limited to physical health, but also to social, emotional and sexual health. This can include issues such as substance abuse, obesity, depression and sexually transmitted diseases. While most parents take their young children to the doctor regularly, this seems to become less common as they grow into teenagers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the U.S. Census compiled data that indicates approximately one-third of teens do not get their annual checkups.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID,) in collaboration with, and with support from Pfizer Inc, performed a national survey, fielded by Harris Interactive, of over 2,000 teenagers, their parents and healthcare professionals to get a better idea of the misconceptions about teen health.

Teen Health Survey Results: Are you Ignoring Your Teen’s Checkups?

The survey showed that 60% had at least one reason why they did not get an annual checkup. Out of that number, approximately one-third believed that the only time they needed to see a physician was when they were ill.

It was also revealed that teenagers do not give as much information to doctors when their parents are in the exam room with them, according to 84% of physicians that were surveyed.

About half of the surveyed physicians assumed that teenagers considered their friends the most trustworthy when it came to getting health information.

It is important to make sure your teen is getting their annual checkups and that they are completely honest with their doctors. Explain to them that many medical conditions go without obvious symptoms. While it is tempting to want to be in the exam room with your teen, they are at an age where some issues are embarrassing to talk about and they may feel more comfortable being completely truthful if you are not present. Examples of embarrassing topics that their doctor may want to ask about is sexual activity, drug or alcohol use and emotional issues such as depression.

Your child’s health is very important and just because they are getting older does not mean that they need to see the doctor less. Make sure they stay healthy and schedule their annual checkups.

Do you make sure your teen has regular checkups? We’d love to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “Teen Health Survey: Millions of Teens Not Receiving Regular Checkups”

  1. Very important message – great post! I have four teens/tween and I admit, we are guilty of mostly only seeing a doctor if one of them is ill. I think this summer I will try and work routine checkups into our schedule.

  2. I must confess, I too did not take my children to the doctor unless they were sick, shots or school sports. Regular chekcups should be done for sure! Great post!

  3. growing up we never saw the doctor unless we were sick or had to get our shots. I take my 5 year old to her routine appts though since we have health insurance.

  4. I personally only went to the doctor when I was sick. My boy is just a baby right now but I plan to make him go on regular checkups even in his teenage years.

  5. Having raised 4 kids, now all adults, 2 of which were daughter… you learn real quick they need regular check-ups!! Not that boys don’t, they absolutely do! I think having girls just makes you more aware

  6. Wow. I had to check myself with my kids, who are far from teens, but somewhere along the way their check-ups became later and later past their birthdays. Since the insurance company will only cover 1 checkup every 365 days, I am now taking them in months after their birthdays. But yes, we should all take a moment to ensure we’re getting our kids to the doctor at least once a year.

  7. I grew up never seeing the doctor unless I was sick with something. which I didn’t mind cause I hated the doctor. But I wondered why all my friends were always talking about seeing the doctor each year.

    But now with my kids. I worry. I am protective. I make them get seen at least once a year. Just for a check up. Because that is how you catch things early on. And it can get a faster resolve.

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