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Vickie
Vickie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience:  7 years exp. on surgical floor, plus many other areas, Emergency Medical tech, 19 yrs total medical.
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How do I get my child to stop obsessing about their health

Customer Question

My soon-to-be twelve-year old daughter is obsessed with her health and body in general. What can I do as parent to alleviate her fears and what things should she be worried about at this age?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Vickie replied 11 years ago.

Dear Julia,


This is a pretty much common thing for children of this age. She is just getting ready to, or has already started going through puberty, and this is the age when "everything" seems to matter. The main thing that you can do, is let her know that you are there for her no matter what, that there is no question she can't ask, and you will do your best to get an answer for her. I am sure all of her friends at school are already talking about getting their first period, and if she hasn't yet - then more than likely this is on her mind also, she may just be to shy to say anything about it. Just try to keep the lines of communication open, and let her know that she will be fine, and if she "does" happen to get sick with a cold, flu etc...that she will be the first to know. . I'll bet my 12 year old daughter took her own temperature 100 times one month... :-) she will be fine.


Good luck to you both.

Vickie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience: 7 years exp. on surgical floor, plus many other areas, Emergency Medical tech, 19 yrs total medical.
Vickie and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Vickie's Post: Vickie was helpful, but didn't answer what things she needed to worry about at this age. If she could respond, I would be appreciative.
Expert:  Vickie replied 11 years ago.

Dear Julia,


Are you meaning "what she needs to worry about"...or "what she is more than likely worrying about" at the moment, that she doesn't need to? I am gonna take a stab at this one, and guess that you are talking about the latter - as a healthy young lady of 12 years of age, really doesn't need to worry about much of anything, unless she has health problems of course. She can not spend her days worrying about whether or not she is going to catch something, or be overly obsessive about germs...as this will eventually turn her into a hypochondriac. She "does" need to know to wash her hands often, as that is how germs are transmitted, to cover her mouth if she sneezes or coughs, not to share drinks, food, combs, brushes, hats, or shoes with anyone...just the common everyday stuff...my 12 year old plays with fishing worms, frogs, and baby turtles...of course she is a "country girl" and healthy as a horse. The things that she more than likely "is" or "will be" worrying about, is her first period. Like I said before, if she has had health class yet at school - as my daughter has, then she will have in the back of her mind about sexually transmitted diseases as she approaches that age, she could worry about something she has heard at school, on the radio, or TV, such as West Nile Virus and mosquito's, maybe spider or bug bites and bee stings, nothing serious...she should not be worrying about cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, copd, or heart problems...like I said, unless maybe she has overheard someone in the family talking about another family member, that has gotten ill or died from one of these diseases and she is afraid that she will get it also...it is just hard to say. Have you tried talking to her and asking her why she is worried about health problems, and what ones she is worried about? She should tell you. Like I said above, she will worry about little things like pimples, cold sores, getting the flu before her dance at school, but it should be nothing major. Children get their "cue's" from us. If "we" make a big deal of something as they are growing up, then they will also. Keep the lines of communication open with her, and let her know that it is OK to ask questions about anything, and that everyone gets ill occasionally. That is how we build our immune system and if she does get sick, she will get better. Without more specific information, I really don't know what else you are looking for, so I have given you a pretty wide view of things.


Good luck to you and your daughter.

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