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Posted inCT Viewpoints

Back to school: Has your teenager had an annual primary care visit?

Aaron, his mother, and I sit together in my pediatric primary care office. He is 16 years old. We discuss his sleep schedule, nutrition, and after-school activities.  He’s trying out for the football team, and we talk a lot about concussion safety. He is doing well in school. His physical exam is completely normal. He’s the picture of health — normal weight, blood pressure is perfect, heart sounds are steady and regular, his muscles and joints ready for football practice. I make sure he is up to date with his immunizations. But what I don’t see in his exam —and what Aaron and I need to talk about— are the three most common causes of death in his age group: 1) accidents 2) suicide 3) homicide.