2. Check your child's blood pressure and vision
using standard testing equipment. Hearing may be checked.
3. Give a screening test that helps identify children with depression.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your
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
of low-fat or nonfat dairy products) daily. Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables
per day. Limit high-sugar and high-fat foods and drinks.
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 bedtime that allows for enough sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing
bedtime routine. Keep TVs and all digital devices out of your child's bedroom.
Physical activity. Kids this age should get at least 60 minutes
of physical activity per
day. Set daily limits on
screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Growth and development. By 12 years, it's common for many kids
After talking with you, the doctor may request some time alone with your child
to answer any additional questions.
4. Do a physical
exam. This will include looking at the skin, 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
get them on time. Immunization
schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to
Provide a quiet place to do homework.
Minimize distractions, such as TV and cell phones.
As schoolwork gets harder, your child may struggle academically.
If this happens, work with the school staff to determine the cause, such a learning
or attention problem, bullying, or other stressors.
Peer pressure can lead to risky behaviors, such as drinking or
smoking. Know who your kids are spending time with and make sure that an adult is
Spend time with your child every day. Share mealtimes, be
active together, and talk about things that are important
to your child.
Set rules and explain your expectations. Have fair consequences
for rule-breaking. Praise good choices.
Be prepared to answer questions
about puberty and the feelings associated with those changes. Be open
to questions about gender identity and sexuality. Encourage your child to bring questions
or concerns to you.
In girls, the first menstrual period (menarche) usually happens
by age 13, but it can come as late as age 15. Talk
to your daughter about menstruation before menarche occurs and encourage her to
come to you once it does.
Monitor your child's Internet
usage. Keep the family computer in a place where you can watch what your
child is doing. Install safety filters and check the browser history to see what websites
your child has visited.
Protect your child from gun
injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep
it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure
kids cannot access the keys.
Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation.
Do you have the things that you need to take care of your child? Do you have enough
food, a safe place to live, and health
insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to
a social worker.
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.