Educational Materials for 4 Year Well-Visit

The topics listed below are based on American Academy of Pediatrics national recommendations about the kinds of things that are important to discuss or get more information about for children your child's age.

Click on the info to get education and tips from pediatric health care experts about each topic.

Making sure your child is ready to enter school

Helping your child spend time with other children More Info
Helping your child spend time with other children
What is this and why is it important?

At four years old your child is expressing her own personality. She may want to play more with other kids and may become more curious about things outside the home. At this age it is important to help your child develop the social skills that will help her form healthy relationships later in life. Once your child begins to spend time away from you it is important that she knows how to be comfortable and behave well around other adults and children.

Help your child practice social skills by exposing her to different social situations. Take her to play at parks or community centers in your neighborhood, join a play group, or invite another child to your home for a play date. Encourage your child to socialize when you have visitors in your home.

Watching your child as she interacts with others can help you learn more about her and will give you opportunities to guide her behavior. For example, there will be times when your child may become frustrated and angry with another child. Talk to her about her emotions and how to deal with them in a healthy way. Making sure your child spends time with other children will help her develop the skills necessary to build good relationships with others.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Should I enroll my child in preschool?
  • How do I know how strict to be with my child's behavior?
  • How do I talk to my child about bullying and the importance of being kind to other children?
  • My child has special health care needs. How can I make sure she is included in social time with other kids?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

How is my child developing

Behaviors of the child at play

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Getting your child ready to start school More Info
Getting your child ready to start school
What is this and why is it important?

Is your child ready for school? Being ready to start school is about more than just reaching a certain age. Because each child develops in his own way, it is important to look at other ways of measuring your child’s readiness for school. You can increase your child’s success in school by teaching your child how to listen, follow instructions and treat others, reading to and with your child, and practicing language and math skills with your child.

A great start in preparing your child for school is talking to him about what will be expected of him. Help your child start learning to read by reading interactively with him, pointing out words and sounding them out together. You can also visit your local library together. Help your child develop her language skills by encouraging his to talk with you about his friends, experiences, and observations.

Give your child chances to interact with other children his age by taking him to neighborhood parks and community centers, or setting up play dates with friends. This will allow him to become comfortable around other children and practice his social skills. Some children attend preschool at this age. Preschool can help prepare your child for entering school.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about ways to help prepare your child for school and also if you have concerns about your child’s development.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • Should I consider preschool before my child starts kindergarten?
  • I can't afford to send my child to preschool. Where can I find low-cost or free places where she can learn?
  • My child has special health care needs. Will he be able to go to our neighborhood school?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Is your child ready for school? (AAP)

Is your child ready for school? (AAP)

School readiness and the 4 year health visit (AAP)

School readiness and the 4 year health visit (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

High PC. 2008. School Readiness. Pediatrics 2008;121;e1008

Working on healthy habits

Getting started with healthy eating habits More Info
Getting started with healthy eating habits
What is this and why is it important?

Good nutrition is an important part of your child’s healthy lifestyle. It’s important to start teaching her about healthy eating habits early on. That way, when she chooses her own foods, she has the know-how she’ll need to make good choices. It’s a good idea to model the behaviors you want your child to learn and praise her when she does well.

Some 4-year-olds have a poor appetite or only like to eat a few things. If your child’s pediatrician says he’s been growing fine, this isn’t a big concern. You should offer your child the same foods the rest of the family eats. Fresh vegetables and fruits, non-fat or low-fat dairy products, lean meats like turkey and chicken breast, and whole grain cereals or breads are great choices. Children need calcium to build healthy bones, but many do not get enough. Your child should get about 3 servings of calcium every day, from milk, cheese, yogurt, or leafy green vegetables like spinach or broccoli. Try to avoid soda pop, and limit 100% fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day.

Many processed and packaged foods are very high in salt, sugar, and fat. Try to avoid these products as much as possible. Be aware that young children are very vulnerable to television ads for sugary cereals and sweets.

Try to eat at least 1 meal per day together as a family. This is a time you can continue teaching your child basic table manners and model how to be good company at the table. You can increase your child’s interest in meal time by turning off the TV and including her in the table conversation.

You can always ask your child’s health care provider more about healthy eating habits, and how to share these with your child.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My child won't sit at the table with us; what can I do to interest her in family meals?
  • I'm worried my child is eating too little and of less nutritious foods; how do I know that he is getting enough nutrition to grow?
  • I'm concerned about my child's weight. Is anything wrong?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Growing Healthy (AAP)

Feeding and Nutrition: Your 4- to 5-Year-Old (AAP)

Preschooler Nutrition: Information for Your Pediatrician (AAP)

Sample Daily Menu for a 4 Year Old (AAP)

Sample One-Day Menu for a Preschooler (AAP)

Nutrition and the Health of Young People (CDC)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Getting started with good cleanliness habits More Info
Getting started with good cleanliness habits
What is this and why is it important?

At this age, it’s important to talk to your child about good hygiene habits. Good hygiene isn’t just about looking and feeling clean, but is also important in helping prevent the spread of illnesses. If your child becomes accustomed to frequent hand washing, daily baths, and brushing her teeth twice a day, these habits will likely stay with him when he is no longer supervised.

Bath time can be a difficult time. Many children hate bathing for various reasons, so try to make bath time fun and use the time to talk with your child. It often helps to keep a schedule so that your child knows what to expect, such as having a bath before bedtime or before school, and washing face and hands before dinner. During bath time, help your child learn how to wash his face, hair, armpits, feet, ears, genital area and bottom. Never leave your child alone in the bathtub. You may need to be in charge of cleaning and clipping fingernails and toenails. Uncircumcised boys should be shown the proper way to keep the foreskin area clean.

Your child may not like having his hair brushed or washed, but doing this will help keep his hair from getting unruly or tangled. You don’t need to shampoo your child’s hair every night –only a few times a week is fine.

Healthy teeth and gums are very important for your 4-year-old. He should brush his teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes each time – after breakfast and before bed – and floss once a day. Your 4-year-old will need some help with brushing and flossing, so help him as he brushes to make sure he does a complete job.

You can ask your health care provider more about hygiene at your next appointment.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My child hates bath time. How can I make it more fun?
  • Other than brushing teeth and bathing, are there other hygiene activities that my child should be doing on a regular basis?
  • My child doesn't like getting in the tub. Is a shower okay?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start (AAP)

Establishing Good Toothbrushing Habits (AAP)

Let the Brushing Games Begin (AAP)

Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy (KidsHealth)

Hygiene Basics for Kids (parents.com)

Healthy Active Living for Families - Tips for Parents (AAP)

2min2X Campaign (Ad Council)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Getting started with calm bedtime routines More Info
Getting started with calm bedtime routines
What is this and why is it important?

Sleep is important for your child’s health. The link between sleep and your child’s behavior isn’t always obvious, but if your child is well-rested she’s more likely to behave well and be active throughout the day. Preschoolers usually need about 10-12 hours of sleep per night, but your child might need more or less than that. Your child may no longer need a nap if she is getting enough rest at night, and it is okay to switch nap time for a period of quiet time during the day.

Bedtime can be a difficult time for your 4-year-old. It interrupts her playtime, and she might not be comfortable being alone at night. At this age, your child may start to experience dreams and nightmares and need reassurance that she is safe. A calm bedtime ritual can help your child sleep better.

You can create a bedtime ritual by having a set plan of how you put your child to bed. It could begin with a reminder, about 30 minutes before the routine starts, then bath time, getting pajamas on, and reading books or telling stories together. You can use this story time to help your child develop language and pre-reading skills. Some children are soothed by calming music or the sound of the ocean or rain. It helps to remind your child to stay quiet and in her bed after you say your final goodnight. You can also praise her the next morning for staying in bed, reinforcing her good behavior.

You can talk to your child’s healthcare provider about calm bedtime routines and getting enough sleep.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How many books or stories should I tell my child? What types of books or stories should I tell my child?
  • How long should my child's bedtime routine take?
  • What should I do if my child keeps getting out of bed?
  • How can I help my child when she has a nightmare?
  • Is it okay to let my child sleep with a night light?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

All About Sleep (KidsHealth)

Bedtime Basics (KidsHealth)

Sleep and Your Preschooler (KidsHealth)

Should My Daughter Sleep in My Room After Having a Nightmare? (KidsHealth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Coping with family & child stress More Info
Coping with family & child stress
What is this and why is it important?

Stress is that uneasy feeling you get when you may be worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. There are many stresses that occur, both for you and your child. Emotions play an important role in how we feel stress. The way we think about stress and what we choose to do about it can affect the impact of a stressful event. Whatever its form, if stress is too intense or long-lasting, it can sometimes take a toll on your child, causing sleep or appetite problems or making her more likely to get sick. Children and adults may also become angry or irritable when they feel stressed. Adverse childhood experiences such as abuse and neglect or death of a parent, can be an extreme form of stress and have lasting effects on children's mental health and well-being.

It is important to notice stress and to understand what makes your child feel stressed. You and your child can learn how to manage stress by building resilience. Resilience means having the skills, information, and involvement of supportive people to help cope with stress.

You can help your child build on her strengths by teaching her positive ways to cope with stress. Building resilience involves learning how to recover from hardships and prepare for future challenges. Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet can help everyone feel less stress. “The 7 Cs of Fostering Resilience” link in the section below provides helpful information about how Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control can help your child improve her resilience.

Remember that your child may be very sensitive to the changes around her, even if she doesn’t say this out loud. Managing your own stress is also important for your child’s health. Some ways you can manage your stress include taking deep breaths or walking away if something is frustrating, calling someone or finding a support group. Try to use stressful situations for you or your child as a way to learn how to manage stress.

You can talk to your child’s health care provider about your concerns on dealing with stress. Your child’s health care provider sees many different caregivers and may offer different ways used by other parents to cope with stress and build resilience.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How can I help my child to make her own decisions and learn how to handle her frustrations?
  • My child doesn't think she is good at anything. What are some ways I can help her recognize her strengths?
  • How can I reduce my own stress?
  • What are some resources or support groups to help me?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Helping Children Handle Stress

Building Resilience in Children

The 7 Cs of Fostering Resilience

Being Supermom Stressing You Out?

Talking With Your Children About Stress

Toxic Stress

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Television and computer time

Setting healthy limits on screen time More Info
Setting healthy limits on screen time
What is this and why is it important?

Screen time includes TV, computers, video games, and mobile devices like phones and tablets. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit entertainment screen time to no more than 1 or 2 hours per day for children over age 2. Children under age 2 should not have any screen time. If your child spends too much time in front of screens—even watching educational programs or playing educational games—she will have less time for physical and educational activities like sports, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Too much screen time has been linked to obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior problems.

Help your child make good choices by modeling a healthy “screen time diet”. Make a family screen time plan, including no devices at mealtime and setting a curfew for devices at bedtime. Try to have fewer screens in your home, turn off the TV during meals, and have fun, non-screen entertainment in your home. Your child should not have a screen in his bedroom. When you limit your child’s screen time, he will have more time for reading, being active, playing outside, and talking with other people.

Choose safe and appropriate shows by looking at ratings, previewing shows before your child views them, and using the screening tool included in most TVs. You can watch TV with your child and talk to her about what you’re watching. Video games are rated according to their violence, language and sexual content, but it also helps to preview the games before your child plays them. Children also use cell phones to play games and watch television, so be aware of your child’s access to your phone.

The Internet can be a wonderful resource for your child, but it can also be hazardous. You should be actively involved in your child’s Internet use. Keep the computer in a common area, teach your child about Internet safety, spend time online together and make your child’s favorite sites easily accessible. Young children need supervision and monitoring to ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate materials. Internet tools are available to block him from viewing inappropriate or dangerous sites.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How can I interest my child in things other than TV?
  • My child is playing educational games and watching educational shows. Does that count as screen time?
  • My child has special health care needs and uses a mobile device for communication. Should I be concerned about too much screen time?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Q&A: Are My Kids Watching Too Much TV? (KidsHealth)

The Benefits of Limiting TV (AAP)

The Internet and Your Family (AAP)

How TV Affects Your Child (KidsHealth)

What Children are NOT Doing When Watching TV (AAP)

Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, and the Internet (KidsHealth)

Raising Children in the World of Media - Video (AAP)

Where We Stand: TV Viewing Time (AAP)

Media Time Family Pledge (AAP)

Pulling the Plug on TV Violence (AAP)

AAP Internet Safety

KidsHealth Internet Safety

Screen Time: A Weighty Topic - Video (AAP)

Food Ads on TV - Audio (AAP)

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

Setting Limits on Media Use - Audio (AAP)

Cell Phones: What's the Right Age to Start? (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hogan, MJ, Council on Communications and Media. Children, Adolescents, and the Media. Pediatrics Vol 132 No 5 Nov 1, 2013 pp 958-961, originally published online October 28, 2013 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2656).

Helping your kids be active and play safely More Info
Helping your kids be active and play safely
What is this and why is it important?

At this age, it seems like your child has an endless supply of energy, and often, this energy won’t get used. Today’s children are 4 times less active in their day-to-day lives than their grandparents were because children are spending more and more time in front of televisions and computers. This inactivity leads to an increased risk of obesity. Along with encouraging healthy eating habits for your child, it’s important to encourage physical activity to promote a healthy body. Physical activity helps your child improve her ability to problem-solve and be creative, cooperate with playmates and discover the world around her.

You can begin by praising your child when she participates in physical activities like running, marching, jumping, or skipping. You are an important role model for physical activity, so your family should also be physically active together by going on walks or hikes, playing in the park, flying a kite, playing catch, playing on a safe street, or riding bikes. You can make family time a physically active time. If your child is cared for outside the home, talk to her teacher or caretaker to make sure that she has lots of time for active play at her child care center or preschool. Help your child participate in a wide variety of activities and encourage her to try new activities.

It’s important to teach your child how to be safe in her activities. Be sure your child is supervised when she plays. Your child’s physical skills are developing far faster than her understanding of unsafe situations. Depending on the activities your child chooses, always be sure that your child wears proper safety gear for her activity, such as a helmet for biking, a life vest for swimming, or elbow and knee pads for skating. Always be aware and look both ways before crossing the street, and remember to apply sunscreen to your child and yourself before going outdoors to play.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • My child plays too rough. How I can I teach her about safe play?
  • My child doesn't seem to be interested in physical activity. How can I inspire her to be more active?
  • My child has special health care needs and can't keep up with the other kids when they play. How can I help her feel included?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Increasing Physical Activity During Preschool Years (AAP)

Keeping Preschoolers Active (AAP)

Sports Goals and Applications - Preschoolers (AAP)

Body & Mind: Play It Safe (CDC)

Body & Mind: Safety Smartz (CDC)

First Aid & Safety (KidsHealth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.

Being involved and safe in your community

Being a part of your community More Info
Being a part of your community
What is this and why is it important?

Your community can support you and your child, now and as she grows. You can build and grow ties to your community through social, faith-based, cultural, volunteer and recreational organizations or programs – there is something for everyone. By participating in community projects as a whole family, you will demonstrate to your child how important it is to be involved and to support your community.

Many neighborhoods have community centers with information about how to get involved in the community. Your public library is a great place to find out what is going on in your community and to connect with other families. You can also look online or talk with your neighbors. You can call a favorite charity, hospital or religious organization directly to see if they have any activities in your neighborhood.

Learning happens in many places, and it is good for children to learn at an early age the importance of helping others by volunteering. Volunteering feels good, can relieve stress, and can strengthen your community and your family. Organizations can match your skills and interests to their needs, and your help will be very much appreciated. Volunteer events can provide opportunities for your entire family to be physically active (for example, a walk-a-thon, community cleanup day, or community garden project). Remember, volunteering can be as easy as walking around your neighborhood with your family collecting trash for an hour, or it can be a more significant commitment if you and your family have the time. Whatever you choose to do, remember that volunteering and community service can benefit both the community and your family!

You can ask your child’s health care provider about more ways to become involved in your community.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How can my child and I get more involved in our community?
  • I have very little spare time. How I can I still be involved?
  • What are some ways I can help make my neighborhood safer?
  • What are the right volunteer activities for my child's age?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Community Service: A Family's Guide to Getting Involved (KidsHealth)

Get Involved in My Community (HUD)

HandsOn Network - To Help Find Volunteer Opportunities in Your Area

Volunteer Match - To Help Find Volunteer Opportunities in Your Area

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Being safe in your home More Info
Being safe in your home
What is this and why is it important?

Safety is important. Your 4-year-old is active and curious, but does not yet have the good judgment to avoid dangerous situations that might cause injury. There are many things you can do to lower the risk that your child will be injured at home. Install smoke detectors throughout your home, at least one on every level. Check these at least twice a year and to use long-life batteries. Since your child will probably get an insect sting, a cut or a bruise at some point, be prepared and know how to get help. You can always ask your child’s health care provider for more information or view the links below about First Aid.

Many household products can be poisonous. Be sure to keep cleaning products and other items that might be poisonous out of your child’s reach. If your child eats or comes into contact with something you think might be poisonous, such as a plant, hazardous fumes, smoke, gasoline, alcohol, or other substance, you should get help right away. Call your local Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222) IMMEDIATELY.

Water can be very dangerous for children. If you have a pool or spa, watch your child when he is around the pool and teach him about pool and spa safety to prevent drowning. All children should be supervised in the water, and an adult should always be within arm’s reach.

Windows should be opened from the top, if possible. If you have windows that open from the bottom, you can install window guards or safety bars so that only an adult or older child can open them. Never put chairs, sofas, low tables or anything else your child might climb on in front of a window, which could give your child access to the window and might lead to a serious fall.

Although most animals are friendly, some can be dangerous. Make your child knows how to be careful around animals and to approach them slowly. Most animal bites happen when children play too roughly with animals. If your child is bitten, treat the wound immediately to help prevent infection and call your health care provider.

You can talk to your health care provider about ways to keep your child safe at home.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How can I make my child's room safe?
  • Can we get a pet even though my child is young?
  • What should I do if my child eats something I think is poisonous?
  • My landlord won't install safety bars on our windows. What should I do?
  • Where can I find low-cost safety gear like bike helmets?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Home Safety: Here's How (AAP)

First Aid & Safety (KidsHealth)

First Aid Guide (AAP)

Stair Safety (AAP)

Window Safety - Audio (AAP)

Backyard Safety (AAP)

Whirlpool and Spa Safety - Audio (AAP)

Safety Around Animals (AAP)

Bathroom Safety (AAP)

Family Room Safety - Audio (AAP)

Garage and Basement Safety (AAP)

Kitchen Safety (AAP)

Microwave Safety (AAP)

Fireplace Safety (AAP)

Toy Safety - Audio (AAP)

Bunk Bed Safety - Audio (AAP)

Bunk Beds: Safety Information for Parents (AAP)

A Message for Grandparents: Keeping Your Grandchild Safe in Your Home (AAP)

Healthy Children Radio: AAPCC and Poison Centers Issue Warning about Concentrated Packets of Laundry Detergent - Audio (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your child’s safety

Using a booster seat More Info
Using a booster seat
What is this and why is it important?

Your child may be transitioning from a car seat into a belt-positioning booster seat. Most state laws require children under age 8 to use a booster seat. These laws are associated with fewer deaths and serious injuries because of car accidents. Refer to your state’s law regarding child safety seats, but keep in mind that your child’s safety is the number one priority.

It is important for you to model car safety by always using a seat belt yourself. Your child may want to buckle himself in at this age. The car lap and shoulder belt should be positioned across your child in the booster seat in the back seat. Be sure to check his seatbelt and offer praise when he buckles up.

When choosing a booster seat, make sure it has a label stating that it meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. Be wary about previously-used booster seats, especially a seat older than 6 years or one that has been in a car crash. Booster seats come in many different styles depending on the age and size of your child as well as the type of car you drive. Shield boosters (which have no back and a simple shield tray in front of the child) are no longer recommended because they do not provide adequate upper-body protection.

Even in a booster seat, your child should not sit in the front passenger seat. Airbags are designed to protect an average 165-pound adult from injury. The explosive force of the airbag is not appropriate for small children and can result in head and neck injuries or death.

If you have questions about how to install your booster seat correctly, contact the Child Passenger Safety Technician in your community. This person can be located by calling 866-SEATCHECK or (866)732-8243, or by looking online at www.SeatCheck.org. You can also ask your child’s health care provider for additional information.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • How tall or how heavy should my child be when they switch from a car seat to a booster seat?
  • Can I keep my child in a booster seat longer than it is recommended?
  • When can my child sit in the front seat?
  • My child has special health care needs. Does he need a special kind of booster seat?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Booster Seat Safety (KidsHealth)

Car Seats: Information for Families for 2013 (AAP)

Standardized Child Booster Seat Laws Would Save Lives (AAP)

Check Your Child's Safety Seat (seatcheck.org)

Car Seat Safety (KidsHealth)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Keeping kids safe around guns More Info
Keeping kids safe around guns
What is this and why is it important?

More than one third of all US households have guns. This presents a very real danger for young children, whether you have guns in your home or not. More than 1.5 million children in the US live in a home with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm, so it is important to talk to your child about guns, the potential danger of them, and what to do if they find one. Even if you do not have a gun in your home, your child could come across one in a friend’s house.

Guns in homes are a serious risk to families and the best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from guns is to never have a gun in the home. If you choose to keep guns in the home, it’s important to be responsible for them. They should be unloaded and locked, with the ammunition stored separately. Guns should be stored in a locked gun safe that only you can unlock.

Toy guns are common and popular among young children. It is up to you to decide if your child is allowed to play with toy guns. Talk to your child about the difference between toy guns and real guns. Remember that young children do not understand how dangerous guns are, even if you have talked about gun safety. Find out if there are guns in the homes where your child plays and make sure they are stored safely.

You can ask your health care provider about gun ownership and storing guns and ammunition safely.

What are common questions I can ask my health care provider?
  • I don't have guns in my house. Do I still need to teach my child about gun safety?
  • Is it okay to let my child play with toy guns?
  • I have guns in my house. How can I make sure my child and his friends are safe?
Where can I find more information about this topic?

Gun Safety (KidsHealth)

Gun Safety: Keeping Children Safe (AAP)

Handguns in the Home (AAP)

Where We Stand: Gun Safety (AAP)

Toy Guns - Audio (AAP)

References

Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. 2008. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., and Martha Moraghan Jablow. Building resilience in children and teens: giving kids roots and wings. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.