Middle Childhood (7 – 9 Years)

Diet/Nutrition

  • BMI is a measure of weight adjusted for height and helps us accurately assess the level of body fat and overall health of your child.
    • < 5th percentile – underweight
    • 5th-85th percentile – healthy weight
    • 85th – 95th percentile – overweight
    • > 95th percentile – obese
    • > 99th percentile – morbidly obese
  • As always, it is important to remember children should never cut calories or diet. This can result in a disruption in their normal growth patterns. We strongly encourage that they learn to make healthy choices, eat appropriate portion sizes, and stay active.
  • School age children are consuming 10% of dietary energy in the form of juices, soft drinks, and sports drinks. These high calorie beverages should be treats and not a part of your child’s daily diet.

Exercise

  • Exercise is an important part of your child’s health. A good goal for children is exercise 45 minutes, 4 days a week.

Sleep

  • Sleep is very important to overall health and well-being in children – a typical school aged child requires about 10 hours of sleep every night. They still need predictable bedtime routines and ‘down time’ that is not interrupted by television or any other stimulation (computers, cell phone, caffeinated drinks).

School/Development

  • Your child begins to look outside family for new ideas and activities. Peer group becomes increasingly important. Support friendships outside the family such as school activities, scouts, sports, art activities.
  • Encourage personal responsibility – making the bed, picking up clothes, setting tables, helping with meals.
  • Attend parent-teacher meetings and school functions.
  • If your child is in an after school program or with a caregiver, be sure they are in a good environment.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brush twice a day and visit the dentist regularly.

Physical Activity

  • Continue stressing safe street habits – stopping at the curb, looking left, right, left again.
  • Insist on appropriate safety equipment when biking, skating, skiing, or other physical activities.
  • HELMETS should be worn EVERY TIME your child rides a bike.

Water

  • Children this age still need supervision around water, even if they know how to swim. NEVER leave your child alone in fast-moving water.
  • Continue to put sunscreen on your child 30 minutes before they go outside to swim or play.

Fire

  • Install smoke detectors on every level in your house and test the detectors every month. Change batteries annually.

Guns

  • The best way to keep our child safe from injury or death from guns is to never have a gun in the home. Guns should be kept unloaded and in a locked place with ammunition locked away separately. Keep the key in a place where the kids do not have access.
  • Remember that children do not understand how dangerous guns can be despite your warnings.
  • Ask if there are guns in a home where your child plays. If so, make sure they are unloaded and locked away separately from the ammunition.

Stranger Danger

  • Discuss with your children that they are never to get in a vehicle with an unauthorized adult for ANY reason.

Seat Belts

  • The AAP recommends booster seats until the child is 4ft. 9in. tall (between 8 and 12 years of age) and children younger than 13 should ride in the rear of the vehicle.

Interaction with Adults

  • Teach your child that it is never alright for an adult to tell a child to keep secrets from parents, to express interest in private parts, or to ask a child for help with his or her private parts.

Technology

  • Limit screen time (ALL electronics – TV, computer games, handheld device, and phones) to 2 hours or less a day. Monitor email and websites your child visits frequently to make sure they are appropriate and safe.