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, vision, and hearing using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your child's:
Eating. Schedule three meals and one or 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.
Bathroom habits. By now, your child should be able to go to the bathroom alone. Constipation may become a problem because some children are embarrassed to use the bathroom at school. Remind your child to take regular bathroom breaks and not to "hold it." Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your child's bathroom habits.
Sleeping. Kids this age generally sleep about 10–11 hours each night. Most 5-year-olds no longer nap during the day. To help your child get enough sleep, you might need to set an earlier bedtime.
Development. By 5 years, it's common for many children to:
- know their address and phone number
- tell stories using full sentences
- recognize and print some letters
- draw a person with head, body, arms, and legs
- walk down stairs, alternating feet
- count their fingers
- dress by themselves
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 expect.
6. Order tests. Your doctor may assess your child's risk for anemia, lead, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 6 years:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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