Parents: Your Teen's Transition to Adult Care

Parents, here’s a quick message from your child’s team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on a very important topic: the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare.

In the not-so-distant future, your child will be an adult. Adults need adult doctors. Your child’s ability to manage his or her care will be very important to staying as healthy as possible. That’s why we have a special Transition Program. We can start preparing your child as early as 11 or 12 years old, well before transition will happen. Here are the kinds of things we can help with:


Parent-child communication is key to a successful transition, but it gets tougher when your child hits the teenage years. Chronic illness makes things even more complicated. We have tips on how to have the most productive conversations with less stress. We can help keep everyone talking.

Tough topics

Some of our patients have trouble asking their parents about topics like sex, drugs and alcohol. Children with chronic illnesses need a lot of information to stay safe. We have all the facts and can serve as another place they can turn for information.

Choosing a new doctor

Parents have a lot of questions about adult care. Don’t guess: we’re here to provide answers. Your child will be choosing an adult doctor and making decisions about insurance. We have a list of doctors in the region who are experts in inflammatory bowel disease and other illnesses and who are young adult-friendly. Our nurse practitioner can help get paperwork in order and go along on the first appointment. If your child is moving away, we can help find a doctor from outside the area.

Supporting independence

Making appointments. Calling for refills. Working with college advisers so illness-related needs are met. These are the kinds of things your child will need to do to stay as healthy as possible. It’s important that parents let go, so the child can become fully independent. We’ll provide the tools to help your child become independent, but still stay safe. Your child will make a successful transition. We’ll be there to help at every step.