12 years


HPV | Influenza

Healthy habits

When practiced regularly, these are life enhancing:

  • Get plenty of sleep at night, try to get about 9 to 12 hours each night.
  • Exercise three to five times a week for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Review personal hygiene habits.
  • Limit "screen time" such as television viewing, computer and handheld video games.
  • Talk about alcohol, drugs and tobacco use.


Good nutrition is essential to a growing body. Tips include:

  • Eat 3 nutritious meals a day, breakfast is especially important.
  • Whether you eat at home or out, eat as a family as often as possible.
  • Limit high fat, high sugar foods and choose appropriate alternatives.
  • Drink milk or water instead of pop or juice.
  • Eat a variety of dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein.
  • Consider vitamin supplementation especially for Vitamin D.


Injury prevention is proactive. Consider the following:

  • Wear appropriate helmets and safety gear while biking, skating and rollerblading.
  • Use seatbelts and sit in the back seat, it's the safest.
  • Take precautions to avoid sunburn and use at least SPF 15 sun block.
  • Provide safe after-school environment.
  • Review rules for being home alone.
  • Review swimming skills.
  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.


These are some behaviors that promote healthy interactions:

  • Encourage discussions and expression of feelings.
  • Create opportunities for family activities.
  • Reinforce limits and provide consequences; encourage self-discipline.
  • Teach respect for authority.
  • Reinforce conflict resolution and how to handle anger.
  • Participate in social activities, community groups and team sports.
  • Learn to say "no" to peer requests you feel are inappropriate.


These activities provide good examples for modeling important skills and encourage your child to grow in a healthy and happy way:

  • Serve as a role model for ethical behavior and healthy habits.
  • Clearly communicate rules and expectations
  • Show respect and listen, make time every day to talk.
  • Observe reading, television and computer choices for appropriate content.
  • Know your child's friends and encourage good decisions about choosing their friends.
  • Discuss expectations for dress, friends, media, and activities and provide appropriate supervision.


Consider the following to encourage success at school:

  • Emphasize the importance of school.
  • Offer praise for positive efforts.
  • Provide guidance and allow more responsibility for school work.
  • Help with organization and setting priorities.
  • Encourage reading and help find books or magazines that are interesting.

Sexual education

The onset of adolescence will bring questions and concerns:

  • Youth go through the physical changes of puberty at different times, encourage discussions about puberty and sexuality.
  • Read age-appropriate books together.
  • Share expectations and beliefs about sex and relationships.

Dental health

Health maintenance is essential to a child's well-being:
  • Brush teeth twice a day.
  • Make sure fluoride intake is adequate.
  • See the dentist regularly, every 6 months.


The following items may be useful:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Caring for Your School-Age Child, Ages 5 to 12. Bantam Books, 1999.
  • Clarke, Jean. Self-Esteem: A Family Affair. Hazelden, 1998.
  • Davis, Martha. Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, 5th Edition, MJF Books, 2003.
  • Faber, Adele. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk. Piccadilly Press, 2001.

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