Your child may enjoy helping to choose and prepare the family meals with supervision. Children watch what their parents eat, so set a good example. This will help teach good food habits. Mealtime should be a pleasant time for the family. Avoid junk foods and soda pop. Televisions should never be on during mealtime. Your child should eat 5 or more servings of fruits/vegetables a day. Limit candy, soda, and high-fat snacks. Your child should have at least 2 cups of low-fat milk or other dairy products each day.
Children at this age are imaginative, get along well with friends their own age, and have lots of energy. Be sure to praise children lavishly when they share things with each other.
Some children still wet the bed at night. If your child wets the bed regularly, ask your doctor about ways to help your child.
Five-year-olds usually are able to dress and undress themselves, understand rules in a game, and brush their own teeth. For behaviors that you would like to encourage in your child, try to catch your child being good. That is, tell your child how proud you are when he does things that help you or others.
Find ways to reduce dangerous or hurtful behaviors. Also teach your child to apologize. Sending a child to a quiet, boring corner without anything to do (time-out) may be needed. The rule for how long a time-out should last is 1 minute for each year of age. Do not send a child to his room. A bedroom should always be a desirable location for your child. Ask your healthcare provider if you need help with your child’s behavior.
It is important to set rules about television watching. Limit electronic media (TV, DVDs, or computer) time to 1 or 2 hours per day of high quality children's programming. Participate with your child and discuss the content with them. Do not allow children to watch shows with violence or sexual behaviors. Find other activities besides watching TV that you can do with your child. Reading, hobbies, and physical activities are good choices.
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:
Accidents are the number-one cause of serious injury and death in children. Keep your child away from knives, power tools, or mowers.
Fires and Burns
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
If he has not already gotten them, your child may receive shots.
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 in the area 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 check-up is recommended when your child is 6 years old.