|SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center|
Your Child's Checkup: 12 Years
What to Expect During This Visit
Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
2. Check your child's blood pressure and vision using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your child's:
Eating. At this age, kids should begin making healthy food choices on their own. Your child's diet should include lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Kids this age should get 3 cups (720 ml) of low-fat or nonfat milk (or equivalent low-fat or nonfat dairy products) daily. Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat.
Sleeping. Kids this age generally need about 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can make it difficult to pay attention at school. Set a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine.
Physical activity. Kids this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Experts recommend limiting screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers, to no more than 2 hours per day.
Growth and development. By 12 years, it's common for many kids to:
After talking with you, the doctor may request some time alone with your child to answer any additional questions.
4. Perform a physical exam. This will include listening to the heart and lungs, examining the back for any curvature of the spine, and checking for the signs of puberty. A parent, caregiver, or chaperone should be present during this part of the exam, but siblings should remain outside in the waiting room to give your child privacy.
5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect kids from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your child receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 13 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD