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Well Child Visit at 7 to 8 Years
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a well child visit?
A well child visit is when your child sees a healthcare provider to prevent health problems. Well child visits are used to track your child's growth and development. It is also a time for you to ask questions and to get information on how to keep your child safe. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Your child should have regular well child visits from birth to 17 years.
What development milestones may my child reach at 7 to 8 years?
Each child develops at his or her own pace. Your child might have already reached the following milestones, or he or she may reach them later:
- Lose baby teeth and grow in adult teeth
- Develop friendships and a best friend
- Help with tasks such as setting the table
- Tell time on a face clock
- Know days and months
- Ride a bicycle or play sports
- Start reading on his or her own and solving math problems
What can I do to help my child get the right nutrition?
- Teach your child about a healthy meal plan by setting a good example. Buy healthy foods for your family. Eat healthy meals together as a family as often as possible. Talk with your child about why it is important to choose healthy foods.
- Provide a variety of fruits and vegetables. Half of your child's plate should contain fruits and vegetables. He or she should eat about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Buy fresh, canned, or dried fruit instead of fruit juice as often as possible. Offer more dark green, red, and orange vegetables. Dark green vegetables include broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, and collard greens. Examples of orange and red vegetables are carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and red peppers.
- Make sure your child has a healthy breakfast every day. Breakfast can help your child learn and focus better in school.
- Limit foods that contain sugar and are low in healthy nutrients. Limit candy, soda, fast food, and salty snacks. Do not give your child fruit drinks. Limit 100% juice to 4 to 6 ounces each day.
- Teach your child how to make healthy food choices. A healthy lunch may include a sandwich with lean meat, cheese, or peanut butter. It could also include a fruit, vegetable, and milk. Pack healthy foods if your child takes his or her own lunch to school. Pack baby carrots or pretzels instead of potato chips in your child's lunch box. You can also add fruit or low-fat yogurt instead of cookies. Keep your child's lunch cold with an ice pack so that it does not spoil.
- Make sure your child gets enough calcium. Calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth. Children need about 2 to 3 servings of dairy each day to get enough calcium. Good sources of calcium are low-fat dairy foods (milk, cheese, and yogurt). A serving of dairy is 8 ounces of milk or yogurt, or 1½ ounces of cheese. Other foods that contain calcium include tofu, kale, spinach, broccoli, almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information about the serving sizes of these foods.
- Provide whole-grain foods. Half of the grains your child eats each day should be whole grains. Whole grains include brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain cereals and breads.
- Provide lean meats, poultry, fish, and other healthy protein foods. Other healthy protein foods include legumes (such as beans), soy foods (such as tofu), and peanut butter. Bake, broil, and grill meat instead of frying it to reduce the amount of fat.
- Use healthy fats to prepare your child's food. A healthy fat is unsaturated fat. It is found in foods such as soybean, canola, olive, and sunflower oils. It is also found in soft tub margarine that is made with liquid vegetable oil. Limit unhealthy fats such as saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. These are found in shortening, butter, stick margarine, and animal fat.
- Let your child decide how much to eat. Give your child small portions. Let your child have another serving if he or she asks for one. Your child will be very hungry on some days and want to eat more. For example, your child may want to eat more on days when he or she is more active. Your child may also eat more if he or she is going through a growth spurt. There may be days when your child eats less than usual.
How can I help my child care for his or her teeth?
- Remind your child to brush his or her teeth 2 times each day. Also, have your child floss once every day. Mouth care prevents infection, plaque, bleeding gums, mouth sores, and cavities. It also freshens breath and improves appetite. Brush, floss, and use mouthwash. Ask your child's dentist which mouthwash is best for you to use.
- Take your child to the dentist at least 2 times each year. A dentist can check for problems with his or her teeth or gums, and provide treatments to protect his or her teeth.
- Encourage your child to wear a mouth guard during sports. This will protect his or her teeth from injury. Make sure the mouth guard fits correctly. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information on mouth guards.
What can I do to keep my child safe?
- Have your child ride in a booster seat and make sure everyone in your car wears a seatbelt.
- Children aged 7 to 8 years should ride in a booster car seat in the back seat.
- Booster seats come with and without a seat back. Your child will be secured in the booster seat with the regular seatbelt in your car.
- Your child must stay in the booster car seat until he or she is between 8 and 12 years old and 4 foot 9 inches (57 inches) tall. This is when a regular seatbelt should fit your child properly without the booster seat.
- Your child should remain in a forward-facing car seat if you only have a lap belt seatbelt in your car. Some forward-facing car seats hold children who weigh more than 40 pounds. The harness on the forward-facing car seat will keep your child safer and more secure than a lap belt and booster seat.
- Encourage your child to use safety equipment. Encourage him or her to wear helmets, protective sports gear, and life jackets.
- Teach your child how to swim. Even if your child knows how to swim, do not let him or her play around water alone. An adult needs to be present and watching at all times. Make sure your child wears a safety vest when on a boat.
- Put sunscreen on your child before he or she goes outside to play or swim. Use sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher. Use as directed. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outside.
- Remind your child how to cross the street safely. Remind your child to stop at the curb, look left, then look right, and left again. Tell your child to never cross the street without a grownup. Teach your child where the school bus will pick up and let off. Always have adult supervision at your child's bus stop.
- Store and lock all guns and weapons. Make sure all guns are unloaded before you store them. Make sure your child cannot reach or find where weapons are kept. Never leave a loaded gun unattended.
- Remind your child about emergency safety. Be sure your child knows what to do in case of a fire or other emergency. Teach your child how to call 911.
- Talk to your child about personal safety without making him or her anxious. Teach your child that no one has the right to touch his or her private parts. Also explain that no one should ask your child to touch their private parts. Let your child know that he or she should tell you even if he or she is told not to.
What can I do to support my child?
- Encourage your child to get 1 hour of physical activity each day. Examples of physical activities include sports, running, walking, swimming, and riding bikes. The hour of physical activity does not need to be done all at once. It can be done in shorter blocks of time.
- Limit your child's screen time. Screen time is the amount of television, computer, smart phone, and video game time your child has each day. It is important to limit screen time. This helps your child get enough sleep, physical activity, and social interaction each day. Your child's pediatrician can help you create a screen time plan. The daily limit is usually 1 hour for children 2 to 5 years. The daily limit is usually 2 hours for children 6 years or older. You can also set limits on the kinds of devices your child can use, and where he or she can use them. Keep the plan where your child and anyone who takes care of him or her can see it. Create a plan for each child in your family. You can also go to https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#planview for more help creating a plan.
- Encourage your child to talk about school every day. Talk to your child about the good and bad things that may have happened during the school day. Encourage your child to tell you or a teacher if someone is being mean to him or her. Talk to your child's teacher about help or tutoring if your child is not doing well in school.
- Help your child feel confident and secure. Give your child hugs and encouragement. Do activities together. Help him or her do tasks independently. Praise your child when he or she does tasks and activities well. Do not hit, shake, or spank your child. Set boundaries and reasonable consequences when rules are broken. Teach your child about acceptable behaviors.
What do I need to know about my child's next well child visit?
Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when to bring him or her in again. The next well child visit is usually at 9 to 10 years. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about his or her health or care before the next visit. Your child may need vaccines at the next well child visit. Your provider will tell you which vaccines your child needs and when your child should get them.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.