Well-Child Checkups for School-Age Children

By the time the child is five or six years of age, he or she will have received all the immunizations that are required to enter school. Starting at age six, most pediatricians expect to see a healthy child every 2 years until age ten. In addition to routine evaluations of the child's weight, height, and heart and lung function, he or she may be asked to provide a urine specimen to detect signs of kidney disease or other medical conditions.

Most pediatricians see healthy children at the ages of 11 or 12, prior to adolescence. The CDC has recently added several immunizations for this age group, including the meningococcal conjugate vaccine and a new tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster shot.

At this age, pediatricians may ask to speak with the child alone, without the parent's or caregiver's presence, to ask questions in confidence and provide some privacy. Puberty raises many health-related issues, and the doctor may discuss things such as acne, hormones, menstruation, and the importance of delaying sexual activity to avoid pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease, and other issues.

Some pediatricians also include one-on-one time with parents or caregivers during this visit. At this time, he or she may discuss parental concerns about issues such as drug use or sexual activity.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 13 Oct 2011