Your doctor and/or nurse will probably:
2. Check your child's blood pressure and vision using standard testing equipment.
3. Ask questions, address concerns, and offer advice about your child's:
Eating. At this age, kids should begin making healthy food choices on their own. Your child's diet should include lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Kids this age should get 3 cups (720 ml) of low-fat or nonfat milk (or equivalent low-fat or nonfat dairy products) daily. Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar and fat.
Sleeping. Kids this age generally need about 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can make it difficult to pay attention at school. Set a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep and encourage your child to follow a relaxing bedtime routine.
Physical activity. Kids this age should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Experts recommend limiting screen time, including TV, DVDs, video games, smartphones, tablets, and computers, to no more than 2 hours per day.
Growth and development. By 12 years, it's common for many kids to:
After talking with you, the doctor may request some time alone with your child to answer any additional questions.
4. Perform a physical exam. This will include listening to the heart and lungs, examining the back for any curvature of the spine, and checking for the signs of puberty. A parent, caregiver, or chaperone should be present during this part of the exam, but siblings should remain outside in the waiting room to give your child privacy.
5. Update immunizations. Immunizations can protect kids from serious childhood illnesses, so it's important that your child receive them on time. Immunization schedules can vary from office to office, so talk to your doctor about what to expect.
Here are some things to keep in mind until your next routine visit at 13 years:
These checkup sheets are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)/Bright Futures guidelines.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|National SAFE KIDS Campaign The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers information about car seats, crib safety, fact sheets, and links to other health- and safety-oriented sites.|
|Boys & Girls Clubs of America The mission of this group is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.|
|Kids Sports Network This organization promotes quality nonschool sports and fitness for children between the ages of 3 and 19 through coaches, education, special events and activities, public awareness, and regular networking with youth sports organizations and agencies.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations The CDC's site has information on vaccines, including immunization schedules, recommendations, FAQs, and more.|
|BeingGirl This website offers answers to questions about puberty and menstruation, as well as information about music and fashion, quizzes, and games.|
|Immunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.|
|Backpack Safety America (BSA) This website is dedicated to teaching parents, teachers, kids, and others the importance of properly packing, lifting, and carrying backpacks.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures Bright Futures is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that addresses the health needs of growing children. To learn more, visit the website.|
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