Teen Health

Start today to take action for a healthier you.

Stages of Growth 

  • Young Teen: 12-14 years
  • Teen: Ages 15-19 years

See your doctor once a year for a check-up

If you are sick and are not getting better or have other concerns, see your doctor right away. Remember that your doctor is your partner for keeping you healthy. Your doctor is not there to judge you. HPSM has a list of doctors who are interested in taking care of teens. You can choose to see one of them—just let us know by calling us, and we can help you make that connection.

Immunizations

If you are following the recommended vaccine schedule, the following vaccines may apply to you. Talk with your doctor to find out what vaccines are right for you.

  • Influenza/Flu- annually
  • Tetanus-diphtheria (Tdap) Booster- every ten years
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)- start at age 11
  • Meningococcal (MCV) -before age 13

Tips

As a teen, you are starting to make your own choices and decisions about your health. HPSM is here to help you stay healthy. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Aim to eat foods from all of the food groups every day. Limit foods with a lot of sugar, salt and unhealthy fat (such as fries and fried chicken).
  • Participate in physical activities daily. Get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. 
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night.
  • Always buckle up in the car. And make sure everyone else in the car does too.
  • Don’t drink alcohol: Alcohol includes hard liquor, beer or wine. Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal. It also puts your health at risk. Talk to a parent, school counselor, or doctor if you would like to find resources for alcohol/drug dependence.
  • Don’t take street drugs: Drugs also put your health at risk. Talk to a parent, school counselor, or doctor if you would like to find resources for alcohol/drug dependence.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking harms many organs in the body, causing many diseases. There are resources that can help you quit.

Call the California Smokers Helpline to speak to a smoking cessation counselor today:

  • 1-800-NO-BUTTS (800-662-8887) 
  • En español: 1-800-NO-FUME (800-456-6386)

Depression

It’s common for teens to feel down sometimes. Life is changing a lot and it can be stressful. If you are feeling down every day, are no longer interested in the things around you, find it hard to get motivated, no longer feel like eating or just eat all the time, you may be depressed.

If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, your feelings need to be dealt with urgently. There is help. If you have been feeling down and it is not getting better, call the ACCESS line at 1-800-686-0101 for help.

If you are planning to hurt yourself or others, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. You are not alone.

LGBTQ+ Youth

We care about you and your needs. You need to get your yearly health check ups. When you do, please talk to your doctor about any issues or concerns, especially if you are still questioning.

Sexual Health

If you are sexually active and having symptoms of an infection (an STI–sexually transmitted infection), or you are just not sure, see your doctor right away.

Take Control

  • Practice abstinence. Prevent pregnancy and getting an STI by not having sex.
  • Always use a condom if you are having sex. Using condoms correctly can prevent pregnancy and STIs. Condoms should be used in addition to primary method of birth control (e.g., "the pill" or injections, etc).
  • Get tested regularly. Many STIs don’t have symptoms. Make sure you and your partner both get tested to know for sure that neither of you has an STI.
  • Avoid having sex with multiple partners. Multiple partners greatly increase your risk of STIs.
  • Call your doctor if you think you have been exposed to an STI.

Recommended Tests

Women ages 16 to 24 who are sexually active should get a Chlamydia test once a year. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacteria that does not cause symptoms in most women. If this bacteria is not treated, it can make it hard to become pregnant in the future. Chlamydia is easy to cure when found early.