Well Child Care, 7-Year-Old

SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

Talk to your child's teacher on a regular basis to see how your 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 your child unsupervised in the home after school.

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

RECOMMENDED IMMUNIZATIONS

  • Hepatitis B vaccine. (Doses only obtained, if needed, to catch up on missed doses in the past.)

  • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. (Individuals aged 7 years and older who are not fully immunized with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine should receive 1 dose of Tdap as a catch-up vaccine. The Tdap dose should be obtained regardless of the length of time since the last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine. If additional catch-up doses are required, the remaining catch-up doses should be doses of tetanus diphtheria (Td) vaccine. The Td doses should be obtained every 10 years after the Tdap dose. Children and preteens aged 7–10 years who receive a dose of Tdap as part of the catch-up series, should not receive the recommended dose of Tdap at age 11–12 years.)

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine. (Individuals older than 5 years of age usually do not receive the vaccine. However, any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals aged 5 years or older who have certain high-risk conditions should obtain doses as recommended.)

  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) vaccine. (Children who have certain conditions should obtain the vaccine as recommended.)

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23) vaccine. (Children who have certain high-risk conditions should obtain the vaccine as recommended.)

  • Inactivated poliovirus vaccine. (Doses only obtained, if needed, to catch up on missed doses in the past.)

  • Influenza vaccine. (Starting at age 6 months, all individuals should obtain influenza vaccine every year. Individuals between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time should receive a second dose at least 4 weeks after the first dose. Thereafter, only a single annual dose is recommended.)

  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. (Doses should be obtained, if needed, to catch up on missed doses in the past.)

  • Varicella vaccine. (Doses should be obtained, if needed, to catch up on missed doses in the past.)

  • Hepatitis A virus vaccine. (A child who has not obtained the vaccine before 2 years of age should obtain the vaccine if he or she is at risk for infection or if hepatitis A protection is desired.)

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine. (Children who have certain high-risk conditions, are present during an outbreak, or are traveling to a country with a high rate of meningitis should obtain the vaccine.)

TESTING

Your 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 8–12 ounces (240–360 mL) each day. Avoid sugary beverages or sodas.

  • Avoid food choices high in fat, salt, or sugar.

  • Allow your child 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 toothbrushing 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 bed-wetting may still be normal, especially for boys or for those with a family history of bed-wetting. 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 a child to relax. Continue bedtime routines. Avoid television watching at bedtime.

PARENTING TIPS

  • Recognize your 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.

  • Your 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 1–2 hours each day. Children who watch excessive television are more likely to become overweight. Monitor your child's choices in television. If you have cable, block channels that 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. Booster seats are needed until your child is 4 feet 9 inches (145 cm) tall and between 8 and 12 years old.

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

  • Discuss fire escape plans with your child.

  • Teach your child not to play with matches, lighters, or 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 one person 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 your child is playing near a street or body of water. Never allow your child to swim without adult supervision. Enroll your child in swimming lessons if your child has not learned to swim.

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

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

  • Children should be protected from sun exposure. You can protect them by dressing them in clothing, hats, and other coverings. Avoid taking your child outdoors during peak sun hours. Sunburns can lead to more serious skin trouble later in life. Make sure that your child always wears sunscreen which protects against UVA and UVB when out in the sun to minimize early sunburning.

  • 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 both parents' complete names and cellular 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.