Growth and Development

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 9 and 10 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

  • Encourage your child to eat healthy.

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

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

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

  • Encourage your child to be active for at least 1 hour daily.

  • Eat as a family often.



  • The back seat is the safest place to ride in a car until your child is 13 years old.

  • Use a booster seat until the vehicle's safety belt fits. The lap belt can be worn low and flat on the upper thighs. The shoulder belt can be worn across the shoulder and the child can bend at the knees while sitting against the vehicle seat back.

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

  • Your child needs sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when outside.

  • Your child needs a helmet and safety gear for biking, skating, in-line skating, skiing, snowmobiling, and horseback riding.

  • Talk to your child about not smoking cigarettes, using drugs, or drinking alcohol.

  • Make a plan for situations in which your child does not feel safe.

  • Get to know your child's friends and their families.

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

Development and Mental Health

Your Growing Child

  • Be a model for your child by saying you are sorry when you make a mistake.

  • Show your child how to use his words when he is angry.

  • Teach your child to help others.

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

  • Give your child his own space.

  • Still watch your child and your child's friends when they are playing.

  • Understand that your child's friends are very important.

  • Answer questions about puberty.

  • Teach your child the importance of delaying sexual behavior. Encourage your child to ask questions.

  • 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 your child's private parts.

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



  • Show interest in school activities.

  • If you have any concerns, ask your child's teacher for help.

  • Praise your child for doing things well at school.

  • Set a routine and make a quiet place for doing homework.

  • Talk with your child and her teacher about bullying.

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 his 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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