Message Your Doctor

Know what to expect, Year 5-11

Know what to expect! Year 5-11

Pediatric Anticipatory Guidance

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  • Children learn quickly.
  • Your child will learn to read, write, and do math.
  • They will be making friends.
  • Your child may want to play sports, draw, or play music.
  • Help your child explore with a library card, sports team, or after-school program.
  • If you have concerns about your child, talk with your doctor.


  • Children need 2 HPV shots starting at 9 years.
  • At 11 years, they need tetanus and meningitis shots.
  • Children need flu and COVID vaccines in the fall.

Food and Drinks

  • Limit junk food and fast food.
  •  Offer fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Try for 5 vegetables or fruits every day.
  • Give foods that taste and feel different. It may take 12 tries before a child likes
    a new food. Keep offering healthy foods!
  • Let children eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re not hungry.
  • Offer mainly water to drink.
  • Children should have 2-3 servings of calcium-rich milk or food every day.
  • Limit juice, soda, and other sweet drinks.


  • Brush teeth twice a day.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • See the dentist every 6 months.


  • Have a sports physical before starting.
  • Exercise at least 1 hour every day. Do something fun!
  •  Wear a helmet and pads for biking, skateboarding, scootering, horseback riding, or skiing.
  • Children might need safety glasses and mouth guards too.


  • Limit screen time (phones, tablets, computers) to less than 2 hours a day.
  • Don’t use screens as background noise or to keep children busy.
  • Keep screens out of bedrooms. Turn all screens off 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Go to to make a plan for your family.
  • Talk with your children about being safe online.
  • Talk about not friending strangers online, not sending private pictures, and reporting
    anything bad that was sent to them.
  • The websites and are helpful.
  • Report concerns to:
    • Local police
    • NCMEC CyberTipline at or 1-800-843-5678
    • FBI at, or 1-800-CALL-FBI.


  • Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Have a regular, ½ hour, bedtime routine.
  • Keep bedtimes and wakeup times the same every day.
  • Use sunlight to help wake up in the morning.
  • Keep a regular schedule of meals, play, snacks, and sleep every day.


  • If you need help, go to
    You can get help with food, housing, medicine, and other things.

Booster Seat

  • Use to get your booster seat checked.
  • Booster seats should be in the back seat.
  • Children need a booster seat until they are:
    • 8 years old
    • 4 feet 9 inches
  • Children can’t ride in the front seat until they are 13 years old.


  • Keep vitamins, medicines, cleaners, and other dangerous stuff locked away.
  • Keep the Poison Control Center number (1-800-222-1222) handy.


  • Do not use or be around tobacco, e-cigarettes, vapes, Juuls, or other smoke.
  • Call 1-800-NO-BUTTS and visit for free help.


  • Set home water temperature to 120F or less to prevent burns.
  • Watch children closely when they swim.
  •  Fence swimming pools on all sides.
  • Check smoke detectors twice a year and replace batteries.
  • Keep volumes low, especially in earbuds. Limit the time in noisy areas.


  • Protect your child from the sun with long sleeves and long pants.
  • Put on sunglasses and a hat.
  • Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours. If swimming or sweating, re-apply every 1 hour.
  • Limit time in the sun between 10am and 4pm.


  •  Being at school every day is important.
  • Talk with the doctor if:
    • Your child has more than 2 sick days a month
    • Your child needs to take medicine at school
    • Your child has trouble paying attention or sitting still
  • Talk with the school if:
    • It’s hard for your child to learn
    • Your child needs a special plan to learn


  • Report bullying—online or in-person—to a teacher, counselor, principal, or coach.
  • Go to for more help.

Mental Health

  • Good apps for mental health are Calm, Headspace, Mindshift, Smiling Mind, and Panic Relief.
  •  For mental health crises, call or text 988 for help.
  • For thoughts of hurting self or others, call 911 or go to the ER.


  • Firearms at home should be unloaded and locked.
  •  Ammunition should be locked separately.
  • If anyone at home has depression or mental illness, keep firearms at a different location.