The importance of health and fitness
Health and fitness is all about making healthy lifestyle choices, such as:
- walking or cycling (instead of using the family car) to help reach the target of at least 30 minutes of exercise a day
- only eating takeaway food occasionally
- getting a good night’s sleep, which for teenagers can be up to 10 hours a night
- restricting computer, TV and video games to a maximum of two hours, and encouraging your child not to do these activities in their bedroom
- eating a variety of fresh and healthy food every day, aiming for five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day.
Modelling a healthy lifestyle
Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs must play no role in the life of a 12-year-old. As parents we have a responsibility to ensure that our children understand that. We also need to model responsible behaviours ourselves.
While it is the responsibility of your child’s school to support a healthy lifestyle, at the end of the day it is you as parents who need to take the ultimate responsibility for the behaviour of your child.
Secondary School Vaccine Program
Vaccination is a proven and safe way to be protected against diseases that cause serious illness and sometimes death. Vaccinations are recommended for all Australian secondary school students and are usually given at school.
All secondary school-aged children in year 7 are offered vaccines. Parents must sign and return a consent card to the school giving or refusing their consent.
For more information, see Secondary school vaccination program for adolescents on the Department of Health website
- Young people (13 – 19) – Better Health Channel’s page with information for parents of children aged 13-19.
- Eating tips for teenagers – Better Health Channel’s tips for teenagers on eating healthy.
- Kids Helpline (tel. 1800 551 800) – Australia's only free, private and confidential telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged 5-25.