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5 Years of Age

What to Expect at the 5-Year Well Visit:

  • Blood test for hemoglobin level

See the full immunization schedule ›

Safety:

  • Your child should always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, or any other movable object with wheels. Their first bike should have coaster brakes, not hand brakes. Never let your child ride in the street.
  • Teach your child about street safety: always stop at the curb and never cross the street without a grownup.
  • Now is the time to teach your child to swim. Even if your child knows how to swim, never let them swim alone.
  • Never let your child play near water (lake, stream, pool, or ocean) unless an adult is watching. Your child should never swim in water with a fast-moving current.
  • Your child should always have on a life jacket when on any boat.
  • It is best to keep all guns out of the home. If you choose to keep a gun, it should be kept unloaded and in a locked place. Ask if the homes where your child visits have guns and how they are stored.
  • Refer to this handout for car seat information.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, reapplying every 2 hours.
  • AAP recommends insect repellents should be less than 30% DEET and used for infants 2 months old and older. Wash off skin with soap and water when done. Wash clothes before wearing again. Do not use combination DEET and sunscreen products. Apply permethrin for ticks to clothes, not to skin.

Development:

  • Speaks very clearly.
  • Tells a story using full sentences.
  • Can say name and address.
  • Counts 10 or more things.
  • Can print some letters, a triangle and other shapes.
  • Wants to please and be like friends.
  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds, hops, can do a somersault.
  • Can use toilet on his/her own.
  • Can use a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife (with supervision).

Diet:

  • Continue to make family mealtimes a priority.
  • Don’t expect children to “clean their plate” but offer appropriate portion sizes using smaller plates, bowls and cups. At this age they should be learning when they are full.
  • No television during mealtimes.
  • The best drinks are water and low fat milk. Your child does not need any juice, soda, or sports drinks.
  • Teach table manners. Explain and model appropriate table manners for your child like not talking with your mouth full, using a napkin, asking politely for food to be passed. With supervision your child can start learning how to use a knife.
  • Have your child set the table or help in some other way with meal preparation.

Watch Out For:

  • Please notify your provider if your child doesn’t show a wide range of emotions or shows extremes of behavior (unusually aggressive, fearful or shy), cannot tell the difference between real and make believe, doesn’t talk about daily experiences, or loses skills they once had.