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 the growth charts.
2. Check your child's blood pressure, vision, and hearing using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about how your child is:
Eating. Schedule three meals and two nutritious snacks a 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.
Peeing and pooping. By 4 years old, most kids are using the toilet. But many preschoolers who are potty trained during the day are not able to stay dry all night. It's also common for busy preschoolers to have an occasional daytime accident. Look for signs of "holding it" and encourage regular potty breaks. Talk to your doctor if your child is not yet potty trained or was previously trained and is now having problems.
Sleeping. Preschoolers sleep about 10–13 hours a day. Many 4-year-olds have given up their afternoon nap, but be sure to schedule some quiet time during the day.
Developing. By 4 years, it's common for many kids to:
- be completely understood by strangers
- know their first and last name and gender
- relate events or tell a story
- hop on one foot
- walk up stairs, alternating feet
- identify some colors and numbers
- enjoy playing with other children
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 to your child to assess 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, high cholesterol, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 5 years:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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