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At 8, your child may be starting puberty or wondering about it. If your child wants to talk to the doctor alone, don't worry. Instead, be glad your child is talking to someone about these concerns.
You can expect your child's doctor to:
- Weigh and measure your child to make sure he's growing at a healthy rate and isn't overweight or underweight.
- Check his blood pressure.
- Check his heart and breathing.
- Check his immunization record and give him any shots that he's missing.
- Check his hearing.
- Do an eye exam to check the structure and alignment of your child's eyes and his ability to move them correctly. The doctor will also look for signs of congenital eye conditions or other problems, and check his eyesight with an eye chart.
- Do a tuberculosis test if he's thought to be at risk.
- Check for scoliosis by having your child stand up and then bend over to touch his toes, so the doctor can get a good look at his spine.
- Encourage you to talk openly with your child about gangs, drugs, and sex. She may have pamphlets for you if you don't know how to approach the subjects with your child.
Questions the doctor may ask:
- What is she eating? At 8, your child is able to make her own snacks (or at least find the box of cookies you hid in the cabinet). This makes it harder to regulate her meals but not impossible.
- Is she sleeping ten hours a night? Does she look rested when she wakes? Although she may want to stay up all night, a bedtime between eight and nine o'clock is a good idea.
- How does she get to school? Now that she's old enough to walk or ride her bike to school alone, it's important to make sure she's getting there safely.
- Does she feel safe at school? Many 8-year-olds hear stories about violence at school and may be a little afraid of it. The doctor will also screen for bullying at school.