When a teen is preparing to head off to college for the first time, there are multiple thoughts running through the heads of their parents. This can be a challenging time for parents as they struggle with letting go, and making sure that their teen has everything they will need to be successful in the next phase of their life. One area that can be easily overlooked during this process is making certain that the teen has the health information necessary to ensure that they are able to protect themselves from any number of health risks that are prevalent in a college environment.
While parents are readily available to aid their children in the case of an emergency during their early years, they will not be physically present for their son or daughter, which makes preparation key. Teaching them some health tricks for college will go a long way in ensuring their safety.
What Advice Should I Give My Teen When They Start College?
For most teens, this will be the first time that they will experience living on their own. According to Levelle Drose-Bigatel M.D., parents should make an appointment with the family physician to ensure that the teen has a complete physical examination. It is surprising how many youth go off to college without knowing that they have some type of illness that requires immediate medical attention.
It is important to ensure that the child is leaving healthy, but it is equally important to ensure that they remain healthy while away. Another element of this preparation is to make sure that they are mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenges associated with being in college. This will help to reduce the level of stress the teen will experience. Separation anxiety alone can be a lot for a teen or young adult to deal with; address these concerns, and make a plan to arrange home visits and telephone calls when needed.
Parents should make sure that the teen’s vaccinations are up to date, and they should also ensure that the youth is fully aware of their medical history. Additionally, it is also a good idea to make sure that they have a first aid kit on hand. Finally, talk to the teen to make sure that they understand the health risks that will present themselves during their stay in college.
At The Crossroads is an Independent Living Program designed to help young adults ages 18-25 to become successful, self-sustaining individuals. To find out more, call us at (866) 439-0354.