Child's Routine Checkup, 7 to 8 Years: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Your child is busy at school and has many friends. Your child will have many things to share with you every day as he or she learns new things in school. It is important that your child gets enough sleep and healthy food during this time.

By age 8, most children can add and subtract simple objects or numbers. They tend to have a black-and-white perspective. Things are either great or awful, ugly or pretty, right or wrong. They are learning to develop social skills and to read better.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Eating and a healthy weight

  • Encourage healthy eating habits. Most children do well with three meals and two or three snacks a day. Start with small, easy-to-achieve changes, such as offering more vegetables and fruit at meals and snacks. Give him or her non-fat and low-fat milk and alternatives and whole-grain products, such as rice, pasta, or whole wheat bread, at every meal.
  • Give your child foods he or she likes but also give new foods to try. If your child is not hungry at one meal, it is okay for him or her to wait until the next meal or snack to eat.
  • Check in with your child's school or daycare to make sure that healthy meals and snacks are given.
  • Do not eat much fast food. Choose healthy snacks that are low in sugar, fat, and salt instead of candy, chips, and other junk foods.
  • Offer water when your child is thirsty. Do not give your child juice drinks more than one time a day.
  • Make meals a family time. Have nice conversations at mealtime and turn the TV off.
  • Do not use food as a reward or punishment for your child's behaviour. Do not make your children "clean their plates."
  • Let all your children know that you love them whatever their size. Help your child feel good about himself or herself. Remind your child that people come in different shapes and sizes. Do not tease or nag your child about his or her weight, and do not say your child is skinny, fat, or chubby.
  • Limit TV and screen time to 2 hours or less a day. Do not put a TV in your child's bedroom, and do not use TV and videos as a babysitter.

Healthy habits

  • Have your child play actively for at least one hour each day. Plan family activities, such as trips to the park, walks, bike rides, swimming, and gardening.
  • Help your child brush his or her teeth 2 times a day and floss one time a day. Take your child to the dentist 2 times a year.
  • Put a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) on your child before he or she goes outside. Use a broad-brimmed hat to shade his or her ears, nose, and lips.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around your child. Smoking around your child increases the child's risk for ear infections, asthma, colds, and pneumonia. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • Put your child to bed at a regular time, so he or she gets enough sleep.

Safety

  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards. Use a car seat or booster seat that is made for their weight and height. For questions about car seats and booster seats, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit the Government of Canada Child Safety webpage at www.canada.ca/en/services/transport/road/child-car-seat-safety.html.
  • Before your child starts a new activity, get the right safety gear and teach your child how to use it. Make sure your child wears a helmet that fits properly when he or she rides a bike or scooter.
  • Keep cleaning products and medicines in locked cabinets out of your child's reach. Keep the number for your local or provincial poison control centre on or near your phone.
  • Watch your child at all times when he or she is near water, including pools, hot tubs, and bathtubs. Knowing how to swim does not make your child safe from drowning.
  • Do not let your child play in or near the street. Children should not cross streets alone until they are about 8 years old.
  • Make sure you know where your child is and who is watching your child.

Parenting

  • Read with your child every day.
  • Play games, talk, and sing to your child every day. Give him or her love and attention.
  • Give your child chores to do. Children usually like to help.
  • Make sure your child knows your home address, phone number, and how to call 911.
  • Teach your child not to let anyone touch his or her private parts.
  • Teach your child not to take anything from strangers and not to go with strangers.
  • Praise good behaviour. Do not yell or spank. Use time-out instead. Be fair with your rules and use them in the same way every time. Your child learns from watching and listening to you. Teach your child to use words when he or she is upset.
  • Do not let your child watch violent TV or videos. Help your child understand that violence in real life hurts people.

School

  • Help your child unwind after school with some quiet time. Set aside some time to talk about the day.
  • Try not to have too many after-school plans, such as sports, music, or clubs.
  • Help your child get work organized. Give him or her a desk or table to put school work on.
  • Help your child get into the habit of organizing clothing, lunch, and homework at night instead of in the morning.
  • Place a wall calendar near the desk or table to help your child remember important dates.
  • Help your child with a regular homework routine. Set a time each afternoon or evening for homework. Be near your child to answer questions. Make learning important and fun. Ask questions, share ideas, work on problems together. Show interest in your child's schoolwork.
  • Have lots of books and games at home. Let your child see you playing, learning, and reading.
  • Be involved in your child's school, perhaps as a volunteer.

Your child and bullying

  • If your child is afraid of someone, listen to your child's concerns. Give praise for facing up to his or her fears. Tell him or her to try to stay calm, talk things out, or walk away. Tell your child to say, "I will talk to you, but I will not fight." Or, "Stop doing that, or I will report you to the principal."
  • If your child is a bully, tell him or her you are upset with that behaviour and it hurts other people. Ask your child what the problem may be and why he or she is being a bully. Take away privileges, such as TV or playing with friends. Teach your child to talk out differences with friends instead of fighting.

Immunizations

Flu immunization is recommended once a year for all children ages 6 months and older.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are concerned that your child is not growing or learning normally for his or her age.
  • You are worried about your child's behaviour.
  • You need more information about how to care for your child, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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