What to Expect During This Visit
Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
1. Check your child's weight and height, calculate body mass index (BMI), and plot the measurements on growth charts.
2. Check your child's blood pressure and vision, if your child is able to cooperate.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer guidance about how your child is:
Eating. Growth is slow and steady during the preschool years. Offer three meals and two nutritious snacks a day. Even if your child is a picky eater, keep offering a variety of healthy foods.
Peeing and pooping. Your preschooler may be potty trained or using the potty during the day. Even so, it is common for kids this age to have an occasional accident during the day and still need a diaper at night. If your child has not yet shown the signs of being ready to potty train, tell your doctor. Also let the doctor know if your child is constipated, has diarrhea, seems to be "holding it," or was potty trained but is now having problems.
Sleeping. Preschoolers sleep about 10–13 hours a day. Most kids this age still take a nap during the day.
Developing. By 3 years, it's common for many kids to:
- string three or more words together to form short sentences
- be understood most of the time when they speak
- pedal a tricycle
- jump forward
- copy a circle
- dress and undress with a little help
- play make-believe
- take turns while playing
4. Do a physical exam with your child undressed while you are present. This will include an eye exam, teeth exam, listening to the heart and lungs, and paying attention to speech and language development.
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 expect.
6. Order tests. Your doctor may assess your child's risk for anemia, lead exposure, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 4 years:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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