By MAMAMIA TEAM
Teenagers are, arguably, not the most reliable of people when it comes to taking care of their own health.
Whether forgetting to eat throughout the day, or remembering to eat throughout the day and enjoying a classic dessert-as-dinner, or failing to take antibiotics they’ve been prescribed at specific times throughout the day… Well, most of us would have been guilty of it when we were younger.
This post is sponsored by Medibank. All opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Let’s be honest: most of us are probably still guilty of these things on occasion as adults.
But things like being aware of your heath and body, and taking care of your own wellbeing, become all the more important for young people when they consider moving out of home for the first time.
No longer will parents pay for our kids’ private health insurance. Or be able to bring them chicken noodle soup when they’re feeling unwell. Or buy our kids the aforementioned antibiotics that they will in all likelihood forget to take anyway.
Perhaps because teenagers are too busy growing up and enjoying life, they rarely remember to think about such seemingly tedious things as, you know, maintaining a basic standard of health and wellbeing. These things tend to take on a new sense of importance as we get older. But sometimes it’s because young people actually just aren’t aware of what they should be doing to avoid getting a flu that lasts for the entirety of winter.
So here’s what teenagers need to be aware of when moving out of home. If you have a teenager in your life, share this handy cheat sheet with them – it might just save them learning the hard way.
1. Getting a Medicare card.
When living at home, children are listed on their parents’ Medicare card. But when the time comes to move out of home, learn some independence, and spread their wings, etc etc etc – that comes with responsibilities.
Encouraging your teenager to get their own Medicare card – so they can claim Medicare benefits, visit doctors who bulk bill, seek treatment in a public hospital, and fill prescriptions that are on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – means they will be able to take more responsibility for their health. Plus, young people are more likely to visit a doctor about more ‘embarrassing’ conditions (like Sexually Transmitted Infections) if they know they don’t need their parent’s Medicare number.
2. Booking regular check ups at the doctor and dentist in advance.
If people – of any age – haven’t booked trips to the doctor or dentist in advance, it can be difficult to remember to go in at all, until something goes wrong. When your teenager is first moving out of home, encourage them to book a full physical checkup at their GP in advance, as well as two checkups at the dentist six months apart.