Teens, Safety, and Getting Out to Vote

Teens, Safety, and Getting Out to Vote

by | Aug 28, 2020 | News, Safety | 0 comments

Don’t be scared … teens are awesome

I talk a lot about infant and toddler milestones and challenges because it’s fresh in my mind and the closest to my real-life experience right now, but I have to say that some of my favorite patients are teenagers. At Keānuenue Pediatrics, we’re happy to see your child until they’re young adults up to 21 years old. We’d love to see them straight through to college graduation!

For us, adolescence is a fascinating time of life, where teens are faced with some important decisions that can heavily impact their future. On top of that, they’re in that tough gray area of not quite being a kid anymore and definitely not being an adult. It’s tough to navigate! (Remember?)

If you have a little one like me, I’m sure it’s hard to imagine the future version of your child, taller and hormonal, but it’s bound to happen … and we’ll be right there with you!

Pre-Register for our Office HERE

How do we help?

Navigating older childhood and adolescence will be very different than navigating infancy and toddlerhood. We want to be there to help you with these transitions. In addition to our regular time together, discussing your concerns, and doing a comprehensive physical exam annually, we also take special care during the following visits.

  • Starting at 8 for girls and 11 for boys, we address upcoming changes such as puberty, personal hygiene, and other physical and emotional shifts.
  • Starting at 12, your almost teen gets to spend a few minutes one-on-one with their Pediatrician to talk story about anything that might be bugging them in a safe, confidential, and open space. We also start standardized screening for anxiety and depression, which often occur at these ages.
  • Starting at 14 in Hawai’i, your teen is legally entitled to confidential, protected time to discuss anything related to family planning with their Pediatrician or other trusted health professional.
While we always encourage your child to keep the lines of communication open with you, we also guarantee their confidentiality when they’re speaking to us one-on-one. This promise provides them with the safety and protection that might be necessary for them to open up to someone they trust. By holding that space for your child to ask and discuss anything, we hope it opens the door for us to share information they need to keep safe and healthy. It’s a privilege we don’t take lightly.


As we embark on this second shut-down and see our COVID #s consistently high, I wanted to check-in and see how you and your family are doing. Most schools are virtual at this point, save for childcare/preschool (so Wren is still in school), most are still working from home, and a lot of things that were starting to feel close to normal (eating out, going to the park and beach) have been shut down again. I know we were hoping that this outbreak would be under control by now and that we’d have all the information we need to make wise decisions moving forward. For now, though, there really is no right or wrong decision, and the best we can do is be positive and adaptable while continuing to do our part by masking, hand washing, and social distancing.

With COVID numbers going up, the likelihood of being exposed gets higher. If you suspect you or your child has been exposed to someone with COVID19, please give us a call at 808.975.9595 or text us at 808.431.3161 so we can help you figure out what do do next. 

  • A recent study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that symptom profiles did not predict between a positive and negative COVID test. The most common symptoms in their study were: congestion, runny nose, cough, fever, and sore throat.
  • While the AAP and children’s hospital networks report a 21% increase in COVID for the pediatric population in the last few weeks, the data still support that transmissibility (between children and from children to adults) is low.

Some resources for families working and learning from home:

  • Today.com gathered resources for families embarking on homeschooling
  • Here’s a comic for kids to help them understand COVID and the changes we’re experiencing. Here’s a local book for keiki to explain the same.
  • Here are learning resources from Reading Rockets to keep kids learning at home
  • Here are some articles & resources for distance learning from Understood
There’s an increased risk of accidents with everyone being at home, so we’ll dive more into how to keep our keiki safe in a future newsletter.

Register to Vote by October 5th

Whether you follow politics or not, there’s no doubt that voting on the local and national level has an impact on the health and well-being of our children. Since your child doesn’t have a vote, it’s important to vote like their future depends on it. Here at Keānuenue Pediatrics, we don’t get into political debates, we’re open-minded, and we’re welcoming to all, but we will ALWAYS have a bias toward kids. We will NEVER stop advocating for, fighting for, and working hard for the justice, safety, health, well-being, and protection of ALL children. That’s just what we do.

If you haven’t, please register to cast your vote:

Below are key issues to consider when evaluating candidates’ positions that will have a direct impact on their future and health. Since your child doesn’t have a seat at the table yet, your vote is their vote too!
  • Health equity: This is the notion that everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, or social circumstance, deserves to live to their full health potential.
  • COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic
  • Racism
  • Access to healthcare and medical coverage
  • Immigrant child health
  • Gun violence
  • Clean air & climate change

Our Vision for Keānuenue Pediatrics.

As we get closer to opening our practice, we want to share what drives us to work hard toward being the best pediatric practice on the island! Our mission is:

To provide the highest quality of pediatric care to infants, children, and adolescents and their families.

  • We believe in …
    • forming long-term relationships with our patients and families, grounded in mutual trust and respect
    • preventative medicine, focusing our efforts on educating parents, supporting healthy lifestyles for children and their families, and keeping children up to date on their vaccinations
    • running a lean and efficient practice that optimizes our time and business to best meet the needs of our patients; to meet this end and do our part to protect the earth for our children, we aim to run a green, primarily paperless office and leverage technology for better access
    • team-based care; every team member brings value to our practice, and we work best in synergy
    • service, contribution, and leadership in our community

Thankfully, you share our vision too.

We got 49 responses from a survey that we distributed in July asking for your wishes for our pediatric office. Among the top responses for what you look for in a pediatric office is a clean space, friendly and attentive staff, and responsive, knowledgable doctors.

Other highlights:

  • 76% were on board with a paperless office
  • 94% like being able to securely text your doctor
  • 51% would like to text for appointments and medication refills
  • 96% would like to use a patient portal
  • 65% would like to schedule appointments yourself online
  • 98% would like touchless pay and online bill pay options
  • 81% would like to be able to return digital (fax, texted, emailed) school forms and school/work excuse notes rather than dealing with paper
  • 71% would be open to curated content to help provide information about your child’s health and development to review before or after a scheduled visit

Your feedback was so helpful to make sure our ideas are serving you. Just to clarify, while we have texting and email as a communication option for your convenience, you can always call us to make an appointment and get help. There are so many ways to get in touch with us, and we want you to use any method that works for you.