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. 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 2 cups (473 ml) of low-fat milk daily (or equivalent low-fat dairy products). Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat, and offer no more than 6 ounces (180 ml) of juice per 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.
Bathroom habits. Bladder and bowel control should be mastered by this age. Bedwetting is a problem that is more common in boys and deep sleepers. In most cases it ends on its own, but talk to your pediatrician if it continues past the 7th birthday.
Sleeping. Kids this age generally need about 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can cause behavior problems and make it difficult to pay attention at school. Set a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep and establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Physical activity. Children this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Limit screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers, to no more than 2 hours per day of quality children's programming.
Development. By 6 years, it's common for many kids to:
4. Perform a physical exam with your child undressed. 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 receive 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, high cholesterol, lead, and tuberculosis and order tests, if needed.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 7 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures guidelines.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
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