HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide

Section II–Playing It Safe

Caution Table of Contents
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Tests & Immunizations


The following tests are recommended for persons between the ages of 11 and 24. If you have an increased risk for certain conditions, testing may need to be done sooner or more often. Additional tests may also need to be done. Follow your health care provider’s advice.

Health Test

Ages 11-20

Ages 20-24

Height & WeightEvery year or as advised by health care provider
Blood PressureDuring office visitsDuring office visits or at least every 2 years
Chlamydia Screening 1 All sexually active females ages 25 and younger
Pap Test 2 (Females)At least every 3 years starting at the onset of sexual activity or age 21 (whichever comes first)
Breast Self-Exam 2  Discuss with health care provider
Breast Exam by Doctor or Nurse Every 3 years
Testicular Self-Exam 3 (Males)Starting at age 15, discuss with health care provider
Cholesterol Blood Test 4  Every 5 years (or as advised)
Regular Dental CheckupEvery 6 months or at least every year
  1. Screening is also recommended for females older than age 25 who: Have more than one sexual partner; have had an STD in the past; or who do not use condoms consistently and correctly. After initial screening, follow your health care provider’s advice for how often to have re-screenings.
  2. See “ Breast Self-Exam”. { Note : Though rare, males can get breast cancer, too, and should look for and report a breast lump or other change to their health care provider.}
  3. See “ Testicular Self-Exam”.
  4. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) should be part of the initial cholesterol testing.


This chart shows vaccines to get between ages 11 and 24, provided recommended childhood vaccines have already been given. Guidelines may change from year to year. Find out what vaccines you need from your health care provider or your local health department. Get information from the CDC National Immunization Hotline at 800.232.2522 (English) or 800.232.0233 (Spanish) or at the Web site. For information on smallpox, contact 888.246.2675 (English); 888.246.2857 (Spanish); or

Vaccine Recommendation
Influenza (Flu Shot)Ask your health care provider if you should get an annual flu shot. Students who live in dormitories are encouraged to get one each flu season.
Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td)A Td booster should be given at age 11 to 12 years, if it has been at least 5 years since getting a vaccine with tetanus and diphtheria toxoid.  After that, a Td booster should be given every 10 years.
Hepatitis BA 3rd dose of Hepatitis B should be given at 11 to 12 years. A 3-dose series should be given to children, teenagers, and high risk adults who have not had 3 doses of the vaccine.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)The 2nd dose of MMR is advised by 11 to 12 years of age. Your school may require written proof of immunity to measles.
Varicella (Var)

Persons who have not had chicken pox or the Varicella vaccine may need 1 or 2 doses of it. Consult your health care provider.

Hepatitis AHepatitis A vaccine is recommended in selected states and/or regions. Consult your local health department.
MeningitisRecommended at age 11 to 12 years.  Persons not previously immunized should receive the vaccine when starting high school. College freshmen living in dorms should also be immunized.  Follow your school's requirements.

Also, before you travel to other countries, find out if you need certain vaccines. Do this several months before you plan on traveling to allow enough time to get required vaccines.  Get information from the CDC Travelers’Information Line at 877.394.8747 or at the Web site. Discuss your needs with your health care provider.

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March 21, 2007