vi FOREWORD Taking care of adolescents is one of the most gratifying and, yet, sometimes, one of the more challenging tasks for a pediatrician. From the onset of puberty, there are a slew of biological changes that occur which require optimal physical health to proceed on a normal trajectory. Psychosocial and cognitive development and development of sexual orientation and gender identity are all considerable and nuanced tasks for adolescents on the path to adulthood. Because the top causes of mortality in adolescents have behavioral etiologies (ie, accidents, suicide and homicide), screening for mental health and tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use are essential in determining interventions to prevent these tragic outcomes. Additionally, high- risk sexual behavior and education failure may set an adolescent up for future health challenges and prevent the adolescent from attaining his or her optimal adult educational and professional status. Adolescents in the United States face other challenges, such as racism, living with parents/guardians who have their own mental health and substance use problems, living in dangerous neighborhoods, or attending inadequate or unsafe schools. Clearly, it is so important for pediatricians to consider the social determinants of health when providing care to adolescent patients. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Adolescence (COA), with its policy statements, clinical reports, and technical reports, has been providing guidance to pediatricians on the care of adolescents since the 1960s. Our dedicated, volunteer members share a passion for ensuring that adolescents receive comprehensive and individually tailored health care. We collaborate with other AAP committees, sections, and councils, as well as enlist experts in the field, when developing and writing these statements and reports, whether they are formal liaisons to COA from national organizations or individuals who have published extensively on a topic. Statements relevant to adolescents that are authored by other AAP committees are reviewed by the COA, such as those on substance use from the Committee on Substance Use and Prevention. A broad range of topics are covered in this compendium of seminal policy statements and clinical reports authored or reviewed by the COA over the years. The unique needs of adolescents are highlighted in one of our most recent policy statements, along with specific policies and reports covering preventive health care, immunizations, sports participation/safety, tattooing and piercing, the effect of media, reproductive health care for girls and boys, contraception, mental health, and tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse. There is information about special populations of adolescents and how to best ensure their health and development. These include guidance on caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and specific information on comprehensive care and support for transgender and gender-diverse adolescents. The impact of racism on children and adolescents is discussed in a pivotal statement conceived and with first authorship by our sister section, the Section on Adolescent Health. Supporting the health care transition from adolescence to adulthood in the medical home is also included. I can’t image being anything else but a pediatrician who takes care of adolescents. Every day, I meet teens who astound me with their insights, creativity, and resilience. I hope you find this compendium helpful as we, as pediatricians, have the privilege to accompany and guide our adolescent patients on their journey toward fulfilling, productive adulthoods. Elizabeth M. Alderman, MD, FSAHM, FAAP Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence AH COMPENDIUM.indb 6 AH COMPENDIUM.indb 6 2/18/20 10:32 AM 2/18/20 10:32 AM
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