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8 Year Checkup

What to expect at your visit:

  • Your provider will measure your child’s weight and height.
  • Your child’s blood pressure, heart rate and breathing will be checked.
  • Your child’s hearing and vision will be tested, as well as his or her motor skills, strength and coordination.
  • We will check your child ‘s immunizations record and will give him or her any shots that are required (list).
  • If your child has any risk factors, your provider may test for tuberculosis.
  • Your provider may order blood work or urine screening if deemed appropriate.
  • Your provider may talk to you about any special needs your child may have, including developmental delays and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
  • We’ll discuss your child’s eating habits, sleep patterns, social interactions, entertainment choices (TV, music, internet) as well as any challenges your child may be having with school. Your provider may ask to review school reports.
  • Your provider will watch for early signs of puberty, such as pubic hair or breast bud development. If time, your provider will talk to you and your child about these changes and what to expect during this new period of growth and change.

Growth & Development

Most 8-year old children grow at a rate of about 2 inches per year. You’ll start to see your child move more freely and gain confidence in their physical abilities. Your child should be getting lots of physical activity and a good balanced diet both at school and at home. Reinforce healthy choices in terms of food, friends and activities, praising your child when they make the right choices and talking to them with respect when they don’t. Your 8-year old child should be getting about 10 hours of sleep a night; talk to your provider if sleeplessness or irregular sleep habits are a concern.

Behavior

Your child has entered his or her chatty phase and is developing a sense of humor. He or she may become impatient or be prone to interrupting when he or she is bursting with things they want to say. Your child is now becoming more concerned with social interaction and may want to imitate his or her friends. As your child grows socially and emotionally, self-esteem and self-confidence should begin to develop. Don’t compare your child to siblings and friends and discourage your child from making those comparisons. Emphasize your child’s strengths, accomplishments and all that makes your child unique. If your child is ready, prompt them to make plans with their friends. If you child is still dependent on you for arranging play dates, gradually engage him or her in the planning.

Your 8-year old child may be ready for spooky books and ghost stories as they test their bravery and thrill in the excitement of a healthy scare, but you’ll want to talk to your child about real life things that make them feel scared or fearful. Peer pressure, hateful talk, bullying, fear of injury are all real fears that reflect your child’s understanding of the world around them. Talk to your child and about what makes them anxious or afraid, and offer reassurances and methods to protect themselves.

 

Next Visit: 9 and 10 year checkup