Growth and Development



Bright Futures Parent Handout: 7 and 8 Year Visits

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Here are some suggestions from Bright Futures experts that may be of value to your family

Nutrition and Physical Activity

Staying Healthy

  • Eat together often as a family.

  • Start every day with breakfast.

  • Buy fat-free milk and low-fat dairy foods, and encourage 3 servings each day.

  • Limit soft drinks, juice, candy, chips, and high-fat food.

  • Include 5 servings of vegetables and fruits at meals and for snacks daily.

  • Limit TV and computer time to 2 hours a day.

  • Do not have a TV or computer in your child's bedroom.

  • Encourage your child to play actively for at least 1 hour daily.

Safety

Safety

  • Your child should always ride in the back seat and use a booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt fit.

  • Teach your child to swim and watch her in the water.

  • Use sunscreen when outside.

  • Provide a good-fitting helmet and safety gear for biking, skating, in-line skating, skiing, snowboarding, and horseback riding.

  • Keep your house and cars smoke free.

  • Never have a gun in the home. If you must have a gun, store it unloaded and locked with the ammunition locked separately from the gun.

  • Watch your child's computer use.

    • Know who she talks to online.

    • Install a safety filter.

  • Know your child's friends and their families.

  • Teach your child plans for emergencies such as a fire.

    • Teach your child how and when to dial 911.

  • Teach your child how to be safe with other adults.

  • No one should ask for a secret to be kept from parents.

  • No one should ask to see private parts.

  • No adult should ask for help with his private parts.

Development and Mental Health

Your Growing Child

  • Give your child chores to do and expect them to be done.

  • Hug, praise, and take pride in your child for good behavior and doing well in school.

  • Be a good role model.

  • Don't hit or allow others to hit.

  • Help your child to do things for himself.

  • Teach your child to help others.

  • Discuss rules and consequences with your child.

  • Be aware of puberty and body changes in your child.

  • Answer your child's questions simply.

  • Talk about what worries your child.

School

School

  • Attend back-to-school night, parent-teacher events, and as many other school events as possible.

  • Talk with your child and child's teacher about bullies.

  • Talk to your child's teacher if you think your child might need extra help or tutoring.

  • Your child's teacher can help with evaluations for special help, if your child is not doing well.

Oral Health

Healthy Teeth

  • Help your child brush teeth twice a day.

    • After breakfast

    • Before bed

  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride.

  • Help your child floss her teeth once a day.

  • Your child should visit the dentist at least twice a year.

  • Encourage your child to always wear a mouth guard to protect teeth while playing sports.

© 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics

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