The five year old checkup is an important one. It’s the one that is required for your child to enter kindergarten. There are many things that will go on during this checkup. Here is a list of what to expect at your child’s five year old checkup. I hope that it will help you and your child become better prepared for this checkup.
Weight & Height Check- One of the first things that will occur during your child’s five year old checkup is having their weight and height checked. Your child will most likely be asked to remove their shoes and then step on the doctor scales. While on the scales they will probably have their height measured. This is necessary to make sure that your child is growing correctly and isn’t under or overweight for their age. Your pediatrician will most likely show you the growth chart for your child’s growth over the years.
Urine Sample- Since your child is older now and is, most likely, potty trained, if your pediatrician requires a urine sample it should be much easier than when your child was younger. The nurse will give you a urine sample cup and direct you to the bathroom. All you have to do is “catch” some urine in the cup when your child needs to go potty. Your pediatrician will test the urine sample to make sure things like your child’s sugar level are appropriate.
Blood Sample- Another routine procedure during your child’s five year old checkup is the finger prick. The finger prick is an easy way to get a blood sample from your child. It’s quick and easy and only requires a cute little band-aid afterwards. Your pediatrician will test your child’s blood sample to make sure that things like their iron levels are where they should be.
Vision Check- A vision check is always a good thing to have at this age in your child’s life. Before starting school is the best time to have a vision check done. It’s better to catch any problems early on so that they don’t affect your child’s education once they begin school. The vision check at your pediatrician’s office isn’t going to be as thorough as it would be at your optometrist’s office but it can help pinpoint if there is a problem already. The pediatrician, or nurse, will have your child read a letter chart (if they already know their alphabet), look at some pictures and make sure they recognize colors. All of these tests will make sure your child can see colors, check their depth perception and simply make sure that they can see at an appropriate distance. If any problems are discovered then you will need to get your child in to see your regular optometrist as soon as possible.
Hearing Test- The hearing test at your child’s five year old checkup is just like the vision check, in that it’s for determining if there are any problems. Your child will be asked to wear a set of headphones and will be required to pay attention, listen and tell the person administering the test whether or not they can hear the sounds being played into the headphones. Some children are just too anxious, excited or bored to follow directions during this test so they may fail the test and have to be retested at a later date. My oldest daughter was like that. She just would not do what they were asking her to do, even after doing the test twice. So I had to end up bringing her back a few days later just for the hearing test and then she passed it with flying colors. Talk about worrying for those few days.
Physical Exam- Close to the end of your child’s checkup appointment the doctor will come in and finally do the five year old physical exam. The pediatrician will do the normal once over on your child. A look into their ears, a look at their eyes, a look in their mouth; all of the normal stuff. The doctor will sit and talk to your child and try to get your five year old to join into a conversation. This will show the doctor that your child can communicate. If your little one is shy then that’s ok too. Don’t push it. The doctor may even ask your child to jump up and down, skip or even run across the room in order to make sure everything is working correctly. This would be the perfect time to ask your pediatrician about any concerns that you may have over your child’s health and development.
Immunizations- Lastly, there are the horribly dreaded immunizations. Most five year olds are due a set of immunizations before they start school. If your child went to preschool then they may have already gotten their immunizations so you won’t have to worry about this part. All public schools require that your child be immunized before entering school. Make sure that you let your pediatrician know about it so that they can give you the correct forms that the schools require as prrof of immunizations.
While all of these may not be routine parts of your pediatrician’s five year old checkup plan, they seem to be the most common from all of the parents that I have spoken with and are what my own pediatrician does at my children’s five year old checkup. Sometimes these little children of our’s need preparation for such thorough checkups. I hope that this article will help you and your child with that preparation.