Beginning at 2 years old, we and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend yearly well-child examinations. Regular well-child examinations by your child’s doctor are essential to keep your child healthy and up-to-date with immunizations against many dangerous childhood diseases. A checkup also gives your child’s doctor an opportunity to talk to you about developmental and safety issues and gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your child’s overall health.
At a typical well-child visit, your child will be weighed and height checked to make sure she’s progressing along a normal pattern of growth. For new patients, the doctor will take a family and medical history and perform a complete physical examination. For existing patients, we will update any history and complete a physical examination. If indicated, at this age your child may be screened for anemia, lead poisoning, tuberculosis, high cholesterol, or other specific conditions. Your child’s doctor will check your child’s immunization record to see if any vaccinations are needed.
Your child’s doctor will also check developmental progress. He or she will ask a number of questions to see if your child’s everyday behavior is age appropriate.
Developmental milestones for 8-9 year olds include being able to:
- can tell time, read for pleasure and use a library card
- has a sense of humor, able to tell jokes
- concerned about rules and fairness
- cares for room and belongings, takes responsibility for chores
- 95% of children are able to stay dry all night
Most children at this age are finicky eaters. Your child should at least sample every kind of food on the plate. We advocate the one or two bite rule at all meals. Do not make your child finish everything on the plate. Please limit snacks, fast food and other high fat foods. Encourage drinking water instead of soft drinks and sports drinks.
Parents should be ethical role models. Be careful about cursing, drinking too much. Your child watches everything you do at this age. Eat dinner as a family, without the TV. Show affection to your child on a daily basis. Your child needs 10-12 hours of sleep.
Child safety is another topic doctors discuss at well-child visits. Your child’s doctor will reinforce the importance of using age-appropriate seat belts, closely supervising children around swimming pools, preventing poisoning, not smoking around children, using sunscreen, and protecting children against exposed wires, outlets, and heat sources. In homes with firearms, guns and ammunition should be stored separately and kept locked at all times
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children visit the dentist around every 6 months. It is important to brush their teeth at least twice a day and use a Fluoride supplement if your water supply is Fluoride deficient.