Well Child Care, 10-Year-Old


Talk to your child's teacher on a regular basis to see how your child is performing in school. Remain actively involved in your child's school and school activities.


  • Your child may begin to identify much more closely with peers than with parents or family members.

  • Encourage social activities outside the home in play groups or sports teams. Encourage social activity during after-school programs. You may consider leaving a mature 10 year old at home, with clear rules, for brief periods during the day.

  • Make sure you know your children's friends and their parents.

  • Teach your child to avoid children who suggest unsafe or harmful behavior.

  • Talk to your child about sex. Answer questions in clear, correct terms.

  • Teach your child how and why they should say no to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.

  • Talk to your child about the changes of puberty. Explain how these changes occur at different times in different children.

  • Tell your child that everyone feels sad some of the time and that life is associated with ups and downs. Make sure your child knows to tell you if he or she feels sad a lot.

  • Teach your child that everyone gets angry and that talking is the best way to handle anger. Make sure your child knows to stay calm and understand the feelings of others.

  • Increased parental involvement, displays of love and caring, and explicit discussions of parental attitudes related to sex and drug abuse generally decrease risky adolescent behaviors.


Children at this age should be up to date on their immunizations, but the caregiver may recommend catch-up immunizations if any were missed. Males and females may receive a dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at this visit. The HPV vaccine is a 3-dose series, given over 6 months. A booster dose of diphtheria, reduced tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis (also called whooping cough) vaccine (Tdap) may be given at this visit. A flu (influenza) vaccine should be considered during flu season.


Vision and hearing should be checked. Cholesterol screening is recommended for all children between 9 and 11 years of age. Your child may be screened for anemia or tuberculosis, depending upon risk factors.


  • Encourage low-fat milk and dairy products.

  • Limit fruit juice to 8 to 12 ounces per day. Avoid sugary beverages or sodas.

  • Avoid foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar.

  • Allow children to help with meal planning and preparation.

  • Try to make time to enjoy mealtime together as a family. Encourage conversation at mealtime.

  • Encourage healthy food choices and limit fast food.

  • Continue to monitor your child's tooth brushing, and encourage regular flossing.

  • Continue fluoride supplements that are recommended because of the lack of fluoride in your water supply.

  • Schedule an annual dental exam for your child.

  • Talk to your dentist about dental sealants and whether your child may need braces.


Adequate sleep is still important for your child. Daily reading before bedtime helps your child to relax. Your child should avoid watching television at bedtime.


  • Encourage regular physical activity on a daily basis. Take walks or go on bike outings with your child.

  • Give your child chores to do around the house.

  • Be consistent and fair in discipline. Provide clear boundaries and limits with clear consequences. Be mindful to correct or discipline your child in private. Praise positive behaviors. Avoid physical punishment.

  • Teach your child to instruct bullies or others trying to hurt them to stop and then walk away or find an adult.

  • Ask your child if they feel safe at school.

  • Help your child learn to control their temper and get along with siblings and friends.

  • Limit television time to 2 hours per day. Children who watch too much television are more likely to become overweight. Monitor children's choices in television. If you have cable, block those channels that are not appropriate.


  • Provide a tobacco-free and drug-free environment for your child. Talk to your child about drug, tobacco, and alcohol use among friends or at friends' homes.

  • Monitor gang activity in your neighborhood or local schools.

  • Provide close supervision of your children's activities. Encourage having friends over but only when approved by you.

  • Children should always wear a properly fitted helmet when they are riding a bicycle, skating, or skateboarding. Adults should set an example and wear helmets and proper safety equipment.

  • Talk with your doctor about age-appropriate sports and the use of protective equipment.

  • Make sure your child uses seat belts at all times when riding in vehicles. Never allow children younger than 13 years to ride in the front seat of a vehicle with front-seat air bags.

  • Equip your home with smoke detectors and change the batteries regularly.

  • Discuss home fire escape plans with your child.

  • Teach your children not to play with matches, lighters, and candles.

  • Discourage the use of all-terrain vehicles or other motorized vehicles. Emphasize helmet use and safety and supervise your children if they are going to ride in them.

  • Trampolines are hazardous. If they are used, they should be surrounded by safety fences, and children using them should always be supervised by adults. Only 1 child should be allowed on a trampoline at a time.

  • Teach your child about the appropriate use of medications, especially if your child takes medication on a regular basis.

  • If firearms are kept in the home, guns and ammunition should be locked separately. Your child should not know the combination or where the key is kept.

  • Never allow your child to swim without adult supervision. Enroll your child in swimming lessons if your child has not learned to swim.

  • Teach your child that no adult or child should ask to see or touch their private parts or help with their private parts.

  • Teach your child that no adult should ask them to keep a secret or scare them. Teach your child to always tell you if this occurs.

  • Teach your child to ask to go home or call you to be picked up if they feel unsafe at a party or someone else's home.

  • Make sure that your child is wearing sunscreen that protects against both A and B ultraviolet rays. The sun protection factor (SPF) should be 15 or higher. This will minimize sun burns. Sun burns can lead to more serious skin trouble later in life.

  • Make sure your child knows how to call for local emergency medical help.

  • Your child should know their parents' complete names, along with cell phone or work phone numbers.

  • Know the phone number to the poison control center in your area and keep it by the phone.


Your next visit should be when your child is 11 years old.