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Health Information For Parents
Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your child’s weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check your child’s blood pressure using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your child’s:
Eating. Schedule three meals and one or two nutritious snacks a day. Serve your child a well-balanced diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Kids this age should get 2½ cups (600 ml) of low-fat milk daily (or equivalent low-fat dairy products or fortified milk alternative).
Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat, and offer no more than 8 ounces (240 ml) of juice per day. If you have a picky eater, keep offering a variety of healthy foods for your child to choose from. Kids should be encouraged to give new foods a try, but don’t force them to eat them.
Bathroom habits. Bedwetting is more common in boys and deep sleepers, and in most cases it ends on its own. But talk to your doctor if it continues to be a problem.
Sleeping. Kids this age need about 9–12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can cause behavior problems and make it difficult to pay attention at school. Set a regular bedtime that allows for adequate sleep and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Keep TVs and digital devices, including phones and tablets, out of bedrooms.
Physical activity. Children this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Set limits on screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Growth and development. By 7 years, it’s common for many kids to:
4. Do a physical exam. This will include listening to the heart and lungs, checking teeth for cavities, and watching your child walk. Because some kids start to show signs of puberty as early as age 7, your doctor will check pubertal development. A parent or caregiver should be present during this exam.
5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect kids from serious childhood illnesses, so it’s important that your child get them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
6. Order tests. Your doctor may assess your child’s risk for anemia and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child’s next checkup at 8 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
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Whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or entering the final year of high school, there are many good reasons for parents to volunteer at school.
Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.
During grade school, kids start getting homework to reinforce and extend classroom learning and teach them important study skills. Here’s how parents can help.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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