2. Check your child's blood pressure, vision,
and hearing using standard
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your
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 a fortified milk alternative).
Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat, and offer no more than 4–6
ounces (120–180 ml) of 100% 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. Bladder and bowel control is usually mastered
by this age. Bedwetting is
more common in boys and deep sleepers, and in most cases it ends on its own. But talk
to your doctor if your child was previously dry at night and is now wetting the bed.
Sleeping. Kids this age need about 9
to 12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can cause behavior problems and
make it hard to pay attention at school. Set a bedtime that allows for enough sleep
and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn off the TV and digital devices at least
1 hour before bedtime, and keep them out of your child's bedroom.
Development. By 6 years, it's common for many kids to:
tie their shoes
start reading, spelling, and doing simple addition and subtraction
write their first and last names and short sentences
begin to know the difference between fantasy and reality
4. Do a physical
exam with your child undressed while you are present. This will include
listening to the heart and lungs, observing motor skills, and talking with your child
to assess language skills.
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
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 7
Praise your child's accomplishments and provide support in areas
where he or she is struggling.
Reinforce rules and
set appropriate limits. At this age, it's normal for kids to test
the boundaries of established rules. Decide which rules can be eased and which must
remain in place.
Teach your child the skills needed to cross the street independently
(looking both ways, listening for traffic), but continue to help your child cross
the street until age 10 or older.
Make sure your child always wears a helmet when riding
a bike (even one with training wheels). Don't allow your child to ride in the
Make sure playground
surfaces are soft enough to absorb the shock of falls.
Always supervise your child around water,
and consider enrolling your child in a swimming class.
of SPF 30 or higher at least 15 minutes before your child goes outside to play and
reapply about every 2 hours.
Protect your child from secondhand
smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease. Secondhand
vapor from e-cigarettes
is also harmful.
Keep your child in a belt-positioning booster
seat in the back seat until he or she is 4 feet 9 inches (150 cm) tall,
usually between 8 and 12 years of age.
Teach your child what to do in case of an emergency, including
how to dial 911.
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.
Discuss appropriate touch. Explain that certain parts of the
body are private and no one should see or touch them. Tell your child to come to you
if someone asks to look at or touch his or her private parts, is ever asked to look
at or touch someone else's, or is asked to keep a secret from you.
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.