Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family.​​

Taking Care of You

Enjoy spending time with your family.

Help out at home and in your community.

If you get angry with someone, try to walk away.

Say “No!” to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Walk away if someone offers you some.

Talk with your parents, teachers, or another trusted adult if anyone bullies, threatens, or hurts you.

Go online only when your parents say it’s OK. Don’t give your name, address, or phone number on a website unless your parents say it’s OK.

If you want to chat online, tell your parents first.

If you feel scared online, get off and tell your parents.

Eating Well and Being Active

Brush your teeth at least twice each day, morning and night.

Floss your teeth every day.

Wear your mouth guard when playing sports.

Eat breakfast every day. It helps you learn.

Be a healthy eater. It helps you do well in school and sports.

  • Have vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains at meals and snacks.
  • Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
  • Eat with your family often.

Drink 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or water instead of soda or juice drinks.

Limit high-fat foods and drinks such as candies, snacks, fast food, and soft drinks.

Talk with your health care professional if you’re thinking about losing weight or using dietary supplements.

Plan and get at least 1 hour of active exercise every day.

Growing and Developing

Ask a parent or trusted adult questions about the changes in your body.

Share your feelings with others. Talking is a good way to handle anger, disappointment, worry, and sadness.

To handle your anger, try

  • Staying calm
  • Listening and talking through it
  • Trying to understand the other person’s point of view

Know that it’s OK to feel up sometimes and down others, but if you feel sad most of the time, let your health care professional know.

Don’t stay friends with kids who ask you to do scary or harmful things.

Know that it’s never OK for an older child or an adult to

  • Show you his or her private parts
  • Ask to see or touch your private parts.
  • Scare you or ask you not to tell your parents.
  • If that person does any of these things, get away as soon as you can and tell your parent or another adult you trust.

Doing Well at School

Try your best at school. Doing well in school helps you feel good about yourself.

Ask for help when you need it.

Join clubs and teams, faith groups, and friends for activities after school.

Tell kids who pick on you or try to hurt you to stop. Then walk away.

Tell adults you trust about bullies.

Playing it Safe

Wear your lap and shoulder seat belt at all times in the car. Use a booster seat if the lap and shoulder seat belt does not fit you yet.

Sit in the back seat until you are 13 years old. It is the safest place.

Wear your helmet and safety gear when riding scooters, biking, skating, in-line skating, skiing, snowboarding, and horseback riding.

Always wear the right safety equipment for your activities.

Never swim alone. Ask about learning how to swim if you don’t already know how.

Always wear sunscreen and a hat when you’re outside. Try not to be outside for too long between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, when it’s easy to get a sunburn.

Have friends over only when your parents say it’s OK.

Ask to go home if you are uncomfortable at someone else’s house or a party.

If you see a gun, don’t touch it. Tell your parents right away.​​

Consistent with Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition

The information contained in this webpage should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. Original handout included as part of the Bright Futures Tool and Resource Kit, 2nd Edition.

Inclusion in this webpage does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of the resources mentioned in this webpage. Website addresses are as current as possible but may change at any time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not review or endorse any modifications made to this handout and in no event shall the AAP be liable for any such changes.

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American Academy of Pediatrics