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Guide for the Care of Children Online Manual

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Well checkup: 2 years

To schedule a checkup,
call your clinic.
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Schedule or cancel appointments online with MyChart.

Development

At this age, your child may:

  • climb and go down steps alone, one step at a time, holding the railing or holding someone's hand
  • open doors and climb on furniture
  • use a cup and spoon well
  • kick a ball
  • throw a ball overhand
  • take off clothing
  • stack five or six blocks
  • have a vocabulary of at least 20 to 50 words, make two-word phrases and call herself by name
  • respond to two-part verbal commands
  • show interest in toilet training
  • enjoy imitating adults
  • show interest in helping get dressed, and wash and dry her hands
  • use toys well

Feeding tips

  • Let your child feed herself. It will be messy, but this is another step toward independence.
  • Give your child healthful snacks like fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not let your child eat nonfood things such as dirt, rocks or paper. Talk with your health care provider if your child will not stop this behavior.
  • Your child needs at least 800 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D each day.
  • Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.

Sleep

  • You may move your child from a crib to a regular bed. This is important if she climbs out of the crib.
  • Your child may or may not take naps.
  • She may "fight" sleep as a way of controlling her surroundings. Continue your regular night-time routine: bath, brushing teeth and reading. This will help your child take charge of the nighttime process.
  • Praise your child for positive behavior.
  • Let your child talk about nightmares. Provide comfort and reassurance.
  • If your child has night terrors, she may cry, look terrified, be confused and look glassy-eyed. This can last up to 15 minutes. She should fall asleep after the episode.
    It's common if your child doesn't remember what happened in the morning. Night terrors are not a problem. Try to not let your child get too tired before bed.

Physical activity

  • Your child needs at least 60 minutes of active playtime each day.
  • Physical activity has many benefits:
    • helps build strong bones and muscles
    • lowers your child’s risk of certain diseases (such as diabetes)
    • increases flexibility
    • increases self-esteem
  • Watch your child during any physical activity.
    Or better yet, join in!

Safety

  • Use an approved car seat for the height and weight of your child every time she rides in a vehicle. Safety studies suggest that when your child turns 2 years old, you may turn the car seat forward-facing in the back seat.
  • Be a good role model for your child. Do not talk or text on your cellphone while driving.
  • Protect your child from falls, burns, drowning, choking and other accidents.
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and poisons out of your child's reach. Call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or your health care provider for directions in case your child swallows poison. Have these numbers handy by your telephone or program them into your phone.
  • Do not leave your child alone in the car or the house, even for one minute.

What your child needs

  • Do not let your child play with plastic bags or latex balloons.
  • Push chairs all the way to the table so your child can't climb.
  • Always watch your child when playing outside near a street.
  • Make a safe play area, if possible.
  • Always watch your child near water. "Knowing how to swim" does not make her safe in the water.
  • Lock up any poisons or toxic substances.
  • Do not let your child run around while eating.
  • Give your child safe toys. Do not let her play with toys that have small or sharp parts.
  • Read to your child each day.

Dental care

  • Brush your child's teeth one to two times each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush You do not need to use toothpaste. If you do, use a very small amount. Let your child play with the toothbrush after brushing.
  • Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups starting at age 3 or earlier if there are questions or concerns. (Your child may need fluoride supplements if you have well water.)

Eye exam

  • The American Public Health Association recommends that your child get an eye exam at 2 years.
  • Talk with your child’s health care provider if you have questions.

Lab work

  • Your child may need to have his or her lead levels checked. This is a blood test to look for high levels of lead in the blood. Lead is a metal that can get into a child’s body from many things. Evidence shows that lead can be harmful to a child if the level is too high.

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic