Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD, Patient Handout
12 Year Old Anticipatory Guidance

• Get adequate sleep.
• Exercise vigorously at least three times per week. Encourage friends and family members to exercise. Discuss with your health professional or your coach athletic conditioning, weight training, fluids, and weight gain or loss.
• Limit television viewing to an average of one hour per day.
• Wear a seat belt in the car. Learn how to swim.
• Do not drink alcohol, especially while boating or swimming.
• Protect yourself from skin cancer by putting on sunscreen before you go outside for long periods of time. Do not use tanning or sun booths. A sunscreen of at least SPF 15 should be used to most effectively block the burning, damaging rays of the sun.
• Ask your parents to test smoke detectors to ensure that they work properly and to change batteries yearly.
• Discuss safety rules for the home, including those about visitors, use of the telephone, and what to do in case of fire or other emergencies. Conduct fire drills at home.
• Always wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, in an all-terrain vehicle, or riding a bicycle. Even with a helmet, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles are very dangerous. Wear protective sports gear such as a mouth guard or a face protector. Wear appropriate protective gear at work and follow job safety procedures.
• Avoid high noise levels, especially in music headsets.
• Develop skills in conflict resolution, negotiation, and dealing with anger constructively. Learn techniques to protect against physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, including rape by either strangers or acquaintances. Seek help if physical or sexual abuse occurs or is threatened. Identify a supportive adult who can give you accurate information about sex, and talk to him.
• Ask the health professional any questions you have about body changes during puberty, including variations from individual to individual. Ask any questions you have about birth control or sexually transmitted diseases. Having sexual feelings is normal. Not having sexual intercourse is the safest way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection and AIDS. Learn about ways to say no to sex. If engaging in sexual activity, including intercourse, ask the health professional for an examination and discuss methods of birth control. Learn about and practice safe sex. Limit the number of partners and use latex condoms and other barriers correctly and every time.
• Do not smoke, use smokeless tobacco, drink alcohol, or use drugs, diet pills, or steroids. Do not become involved in selling drugs. If you smoke, discuss smoking cessation with the health professional. If you use drugs or alcohol, discuss this with the health professional or other trusted adult. Avoid situations where drugs or alcohol are easily available. Support friends who choose not to use tobacco, alcohol, drugs, steroids, or diet pills.
• Respect the rights and needs of others. Serve as a positive ethical and behavioral role model. Follow family rules, such as those for curfews, television viewing, and chores. Share in household chores. Learn about how you can take on new responsibility for your family, peers, and community.
• Do not carry or use a weapon of any kind. If firearms are available in the home, never handle, load or shoot without an adult supervising. If available, a weapons safety course is recommended.
• If you notice a change in your feelings, thoughts of suicide, difficulty sleeping or unusual sadness, fears or obsessive compulsive behaviors, please discuss this with your health professional.