Guest Author David Breland, MD MPH

male at docMales in general, seek medical care less often than females. This is true for adults and teens alike, but in addition to providing routine screening for issues like high blood pressure or diabetes, the annual check up can be a great source of information.  We asked Dr. David Breland, who specializes in treating adolescent male patients, tips for parents on male health.

Most teens who are involved in sports go in for their yearly sports physical. This is a great chance for teens (and parents) to have questions answered about normal development, aches/pains, mood, and to received anticipatory guidance on topics like drugs, alcohol, relationships, sex, online safety, driving, violence, and school performance. Even if your teen is not involved in sports, they should have regular check ins with a medical provider so these topics can be addressed.

Here are 3 tips for parents of males:

1. Keep up on health checks. Dr. Breland recommends taking your male teen to the medical provider each year or every other year. At these visits, your teen will have the opportunity to speak with a provider confidentially. This gives your teen the opportunity to ask questions that may be embarrassing.

2. Prioritize health care. Even if your teen is generally healthy, going in for care is important. Their provider will take the opportunity to provide anticipatory guidance and talk about immunizations. These recommendations change as teens age (such as driving safety, sexual health, drug use) so it’s important to go regularly.

3. Ask about the HPV vaccine. It is now recommended for boys. See our post on the HPV vaccine for boys by Jen Brown.

Here are some great resources for teen males on health topics!