U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Make the Most of Your Child’s Visit to the Doctor (Ages 5 to 10)

The Basics

Kids ages 5 to 10 need to go to the doctor or nurse for a “well-child visit” once a year. A well-child visit is when you take your child to the doctor for a full checkup. This is different from other visits for sickness or injury.

At a well-child visit, the doctor or nurse can help catch any problems early, when they may be easier to treat. You will also have a chance to ask any questions you may have about your child’s behavior or development.

Make the most of your child’s visit by:

  • Gathering important information
  • Making a list of questions for the doctor
  • Knowing what to expect from the visit

What about cost?
Well-child visits are covered under the Affordable Care Act. Depending on your insurance plan, your child may be able to get well-child checkups at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider.

How do I know if my child is growing and developing on schedule?
Your child’s doctor or nurse can help you identify “developmental milestones,” or signs to look for in your child. This is an important part of the well-child visit.

Some developmental milestones for children ages 5 to 10 include:

  • Developing skills for success in school (like sorting, counting, and language skills)
  • Taking over body care (like bathing, brushing teeth, and getting dressed)
  • Learning from mistakes or failures and trying again
  • Helping out with simple chores
  • Following family rules
  • Bringing friends home to play and getting invited to friends’ homes
  • Joining school clubs, teams, or other activities

Learn more about the social and emotional development of kids ages 5 to 10 [PDF - 848 KB].

Take Action!

Take Action!

Take these steps to help you and your child get the most out of visits to the doctor.

Gather important information.
Take any medical records you have to the appointment, including a record of shots your child has received. Make a list of any important changes in your child’s life since the last doctor’s visit, like:

  • A new brother or sister
  • A serious illness or death in the family
  • A new school or a move to a new neighborhood

Use this tool to keep track of your child’s family health history.

Make a list of questions you want to ask the doctor.
Write down 3 to 5 questions before the well-child visit. This visit is a great time to ask the doctor or nurse any questions about:

  • A medical condition your child has (like asthma)
  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Problems in school with learning or friends

Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Is my child up to date on shots?
  • How can I make sure my child is getting enough physical activity?
  • Is my child at a healthy weight?

Take a notepad and write down the answers so you can remember them later.

Know what to expect.
During each well-child visit, the doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your child and do a physical exam. The doctor or nurse will then update your child’s medical history with all of this information.

The doctor or nurse will ask questions about your child.
The doctor or nurse may ask about:

  • Behavior – Does your child have trouble following directions at home or at school?
  • Health – Does your child often complain of headaches or other pain?
  • School – Does your child look forward to going to school?
  • Activity – What does your child like to do after school?
  • Eating habits – What does your child eat on a normal day?
  • Family – Have there been any changes in your family since your last visit?

Your answers to these questions will help the doctor or nurse make sure your child is healthy.

See what else the doctor may ask when your child is:

The doctor or nurse will also check your child’s body.
To check your child’s body, the doctor or nurse will:

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