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 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. Serve your child a well-balanced diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Kids this age should get 3 cups (720 ml) of low-fat milk daily (or of low-fat dairy products or fortified milk alternative). Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Limit high-sugar and high-fat foods and drinks, and offer no more than 8 ounces (240 ml) of 100% juice per day.
Sleeping. Kids this age need about 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can make it hard to pay attention at school. Set a bedtime that allows for enough sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine. Keep TVs and digital devices out of your child's bedroom.
Physical activity. Kids this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Set limits on screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Growth and development. By 9 years, it's common for many kids to:
- show more independence from family and begin to prefer being with friends
- have friends of the same gender
- read to learn about a topic of interest
- handle increasingly difficult tasks in school, like gathering and organizing information into a book report
- begin to take on chores at home and handle more homework
- begin to show the signs of puberty (oily skin, acne, body odor). Girls may start breast development and grow hair in the armpit and pubic area. Boys also may develop body hair in addition to testicle and penis enlargement.
4. Do a physical exam. This will include listening to the heart and lungs, examining the back for any curvature of the spine, and checking for the signs of puberty. A parent, caregiver, or chaperone should be present during this part of the exam, but siblings should remain outside in the waiting room to give your child privacy.
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 check your child's risk for anemia, high cholesterol, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 10 years:
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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