Well Child Care, 7 Years Old

SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

Talk to the child's teacher on a regular basis to see how the child is performing in school.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Your child should enjoy playing with friends, can follow rules, play competitive games and play on organized sports teams. Children are very physically active at this age.

  • Encourage social activities outside the home in play groups or sports teams. After school programs encourage social activity. Do not leave children unsupervised in the home after school.

  • Sexual curiosity is common. Answer questions in clear terms, using correct terms.

IMMUNIZATIONS

By school entry, children should be up to date on their immunizations, but the caregiver may recommend catch-up immunizations if any were missed. Make sure your child has received at least 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and 2 doses of varicella or "chickenpox." Note that these may have been given as a combined MMR-V (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Annual influenza or "flu" vaccination should be considered during flu season.

TESTING

The child may be screened for anemia or tuberculosis, depending upon risk factors.

NUTRITION AND ORAL HEALTH

  • Encourage low fat milk and dairy products.

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

  • Avoid high fat, high salt, and high sugar choices.

  • Allow children to help with meal planning and preparation.

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

  • Model good nutritional choices and limit fast food choices.

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

  • Continue fluoride supplements if recommended due to inadequate fluoride in your water supply.

  • Schedule an annual dental examination for your child.

ELIMINATION

Nighttime wetting may still be normal, especially for boys or for those with a family history of bedwetting. Talk to your health care provider if this is concerning for your child.

SLEEP

Adequate sleep is still important for your child. Daily reading before bedtime helps the child to relax. Continue bedtime routines. Avoid television watching at bedtime.

PARENTING TIPS

  • Recognize the child's desire for privacy.

  • Ask your child about how things are going in school. Maintain close contact with your child's teacher and school.

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

  • The child should be given some chores to do around the house.

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

  • Limit television time to 1 to 2 hours per day! Children who watch excessive television are more likely to become overweight. Monitor children's choices in television. If you have cable, block those channels which are not acceptable for viewing by young children.

SAFETY

  • Provide a tobacco-free and drug-free environment for your child.

  • Children should always wear a properly fitted helmet when riding a bicycle. Adults should model the wearing of helmets and proper bicycle safety.

  • Restrain your child in a booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle.

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

  • Discuss fire escape plans with your child.

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

  • Discourage use of all terrain vehicles or other motorized vehicles.

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

  • Keep medications and poisons capped and out of reach.

  • If firearms are kept in the home, both guns and ammunition should be locked separately.

  • Street and water safety should be discussed with your child. Use close adult supervision at all times when a child is playing near a street or body of water. Never allow the child to swim without adult supervision. Enroll your child in swimming lessons if the child has not learned to swim.

  • Discuss avoiding contact with strangers or accepting gifts or candies from strangers. Encourage the child to tell you if someone touches them in an inappropriate way or place.

  • Warn your child about walking up to unfamiliar animals, especially when the animals are eating.

  • Make sure that your child is wearing sunscreen or sunblock that protects against UV-A and UV-B and is at least sun protection factor of 15 (SPF-15) when outdoors.

  • Make sure your child knows how to call your local emergency services (911 in U.S.) in case of an emergency.

  • Make sure your child knows his or her address.

  • Make sure your child knows the parents' complete names and cell phone or work phone numbers.

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

WHAT'S NEXT?

Your next visit should be when your child is 8 years old.