High school graduation may be one of the most exhilarating and joyful days your teenager ever experiences. Regardless of whether they are heading off to college or taking a gap year, it is a rite of passage from their childhood to adulthood. They will soon be transitioning into making decisions and moving away from the watchful eyes of their parents. However, for parents, it is a bittersweet time, a nostalgic time. It is inconceivable to believe that your child is all grown up and ready to go out into the world without you by their side helping them with their judgments. Many of you have teens that will be heading off to college in just a few short months. When you dry your tears, and all the graduation parties are over, it is time to make a list and think about all the details that have to be handled over the next few weeks. The following topics are a few to address over the course of the summer. It is best not to wait until the last minute and overload your teen. You might choose to start tackling this list now -one by one. • Dental Care – including the wisdom tooth decision – extract only if necessary. • Contraceptives and Condoms – sexual safety • Health Insurance and Forms • Laundry Basics • Nutrition Basics – recipes – eating healthy at college • Alcohol and Drugs – symptoms of alcohol poisoning and overdose • Stress Management Techniques • Hygiene Practices in a Dorm Setting • Symptoms of Serious Health Issues and how to Handle Them • Physical Exam and Vaccinations • First Aid Tips I know it’s a long list and it may feel overwhelming. My twin boys are heading off this fall as well. It comes quickly, but little by little is the best way to equip them with all of this information. 1 If you feel you need help, then we at VIDA Integrative Medicine are offering packages for parents and their college-bound teens. Call us today to learn more about these packages which include a physical exam, help with filling out health-related forms, the difficult talk about sex, drugs, smoking, alcohol, safety on campus, and two 15-minute phone consults during the school year to answer any questions that arise as your student embarks on this new journey. I will also include a paperback copy of my book, “The Dorm Doctor” which is chock full of useful, accessible information for your teens when they need immediate answers. Most teens will get run down and sick those first months at school, so I will include some supplements which will hopefully boost their immune system and ensure that they have the basic vitamins on hand. Lastly, I will provide The Dorm Doc First Aid Kit- a 125-piece first aid kit designed by a pharmacist especially for college students with 60% FDA-approved over the counter medications and 40% first aid supplies, including a user friendly, color-coded instruction page. This package is an excellent way to start off the transition of your teen with the feeling that you have given them a jumpstart with knowledge and preparation. This preparation should leave everyone feeling a little more relaxed and confident as you walk through those dorm doors that first day.
Carolyn George, M.D.
VIDA Integrative Medicine
Sawgrass Medical Center,
12651 W. Sunrise Blvd., Suite 103,
Sunrise, FL 33323