Your child should always be a part of the family at mealtime. This should be a pleasant time for the family to be together and share stories and experiences. Give small portions of food to your child. If he is still hungry, let him have seconds. Selecting foods from all food groups (meat, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) is a good way to provide a balanced diet. Choose and eat healthy snacks such as cheese, fruit, or yogurt. Televisions should never be on during mealtime.
At this age children usually become more cooperative in their play with other children. They are curious and imaginative.
Allow privacy while your child is changing clothes or using the bathroom. When your child starts wanting privacy on his own, let him know that you think this is good.
Breaking rules occasionally occurs at this age. Making children stand in a corner by themselves for 4 minutes is usually an effective way to correct the undesirable behavior. This technique is called time-out. If you have questions about behavior, ask your doctor.
It is important to set rules about television watching. Limit total TV time to no more than 1 hour per day. Children should not be allowed to watch shows with violence or sexual behaviors. Watch TV with your child and discuss the shows. Find other activities you can do with your child. Reading, hobbies, and physical activities are good alternatives to TV.
Your child should be seen by a dentist every 6 months or as often as the dentist recommends.
You can also help your child by following these tips:
Keep your child away from knives, power tools, or mowers.
Fires and Burns
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Your child will probably receive shots such as:
An annual influenza shot is recommended for children up until 18 years of age. After a shot your child may run a fever and become irritable for about 1 day. Your child may also have some soreness, redness, and swelling where a shot was given.
For fever, give your child an appropriate dose of acetaminophen. For swelling or soreness, put a wet, warm washcloth on the area of the shot as often and as long as needed for comfort.
Call your child's healthcare provider immediately if:
A once-a-year check-up is recommended. Be sure to check your child's shot records before starting school to make sure he or she has all the required vaccinations.