What to Expect During This Visit
Here are some things to keep in mind until your child's next checkup at 7 years:
- Praise your child's accomplishments and provide support in areas where he or she is struggling.
- Reinforce rules and set appropriate limits. At this age, it's normal for kids to test the boundaries of established rules. Decide which rules can be eased and which must remain in place.
- Teach your child the skills needed to cross the street independently (looking both ways, listening for traffic), but continue to help your child cross the street until age 10 or older.
- Make sure your child always wears a helmet when riding a bike (even one with training wheels). Don't allow your child to ride in the street.
- Make sure playground surfaces are soft enough to absorb the shock of falls.
- Always supervise your child around water, and consider enrolling your child in a swimming class.
- Apply sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher at least 15 minutes before your child goes outside to play and reapply about every 2 hours.
- Protect your child from secondhand smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease. Secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes is also harmful.
- Keep your child in a belt-positioning booster seat in the back seat until he or she is 4 feet 9 inches (150 cm) tall, usually between 8 and 12 years of age.
- Teach your child what to do in case of an emergency, including how to dial 911.
- Protect your child from gun injuries by not keeping a gun in the home. If you do have a gun, keep it unloaded and locked away. Ammunition should be locked up separately. Make sure kids cannot access the keys.
- Discuss appropriate touch. Explain that certain parts of the body are private and no one should see or touch them. Tell your child to come to you if someone asks to look at or touch his or her private parts, is ever asked to look at or touch someone else's, or is asked to keep a secret from you.
- Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your living situation. Do you have the things that you need to take care of your child? Do you have enough food, a safe place to live, and health insurance? Your doctor can tell you about community resources or refer you to a social worker.