Advise Me

Don’t Let Your Teen Go To College Without Doing This

Your teen can do their own laundry, log into their bank account, they can even change a tire! But, are they prepared to handle any medical hurdles on their own? Here’s a checklist to ensure your teen is well-equipped to manage their health—and help you sleep easier at night.

Store Key Information on Phone

Keeping key information on your teen’s phone will make sure that in an emergency they won’t be digging through piles of papers on their desk to find crucial information.

Here’s a list of important documents your teen should have on their phone:

  • A List of All Vaccinations, Current and Family Histories and Prescriptions: You can use the Banner Health Medical History form as a template to complete these items.
  • Insurance Card: Check whether your teen is under your plan or if they can enroll in a health care plan at school.
  • HIPAA Release Form: This document is like a permission slip. It allows providers to disclose your teen’s health information to anyone they specify. You can locate a HIPAA form within the state your teen attends college. This document doesn’t need to be notarized and your teen can specify what type of information is shared.
  • Durable Powers of Attorney: In as little as five minutes, you can prepare a durable power of attorney, also known as a medical power of attorney, that gives someone the authority to make medical treatment decisions for your teen in the event they are mentally or physically unable to make their own decisions. Notarization varies based on state.

Find a Local Provider and Visit the Student Health Center

If your teen is still under your insurance, locate a provider near their school. If they will be using the student health center on campus, take a tour of the facility. All facilities are different, so make sure to check how they handle routine checkups, vaccinations, injuries and chronic conditions.

Discuss Possible Health Risks

Now that your teen is flying the coop, they may think they’ve got it all figured out. But, a new life in college can lead to unwise decisions. Have an honest dialogue, if you haven’t already, about binge drinking, sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases and suicide. Don’t let your teen become a statistic.

And, Finally…

Make the most of the time you have together. You may get frustrated with their new-found independence, but don’t forget to tell them you love them, more than once. Whether they admit it or not, your teen needs to know they have emotional support as they fly the coop.

Children's Health Parenting Wellness