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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 high-sugar and high-fat foods and drinks, and offer no more than 8 ounces (240 ml) of 100% juice per day.
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 make it hard to pay attention at school. Set a regular bedtime that allows for enough sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine. Keep TVs and digital devices, like smartphones and tablets, out of your child’s bedroom.
Physical activity. Kids 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 8 years, it’s common for many kids to:
4. Do a physical exam. This will include listening to the heart and lungs, examining teeth for cavities, and watching your child walk. Because some children start to show signs of puberty as early as age 7, your pediatrician 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, high cholesterol, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child’s next checkup at 9 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
These age-specific guides can help you be prepared for and keep track of your well-child visits.
From kindergarten through third grade, kids’ ability to read will grow by leaps and bounds. Although teachers provide lots of help, parents continue to play a role in a child’s reading life.
Is your 10-year-old crying for a pellet gun? How about that used scooter? For help figuring out what toys are safe and appropriate for older kids, read these tips.
This general outline describes the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them.
Being active is a key component of good health for all school-age kids. So how do you get kids motivated to be active, especially those who aren’t gifted athletes?
School-age kids need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
Regular well-child exams are essential to keep kids healthy and up-to-date with immunizations. Find out what to expect at the doctor’s office.
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.
Some kids aren’t natural athletes and they may say they just don’t like sports. What then?
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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