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Your child will become more independent and begin to focus on adults and children outside of the family.
Your child should be able to:
— ride a tricycle
— use safety scissors
— show awareness of gender identity
— help get dressed and undressed
— play with other children
— retell part of a story
— count from one to 10
— identify different colors
— help with simple household chores
Read to your child for at least 15 minutes every day. Read a lot of different stories, poetry and rhyming books. Ask your child what he thinks will happen in the book. Help your child use correct words and phrases.
Teach your child the meanings of new words. Your child is growing in language use.
Your child may be eager to write and may show an interest in learning to read. Teach your child how to print his name and play games with the alphabet.
Help your child follow directions by using short, clear sentences.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend limiting the TV, video or computer screen time your child gets to one to two hours or fewer each day. Supervise the TV shows/videos your child watches.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend putting a TV or computer in children's bedrooms.
Encourage writing and drawing. Help your child learn letters and numbers.
Let your child play with other children to promote sharing and cooperation.
Avoid junk foods and unhealthful snacks and soft drinks.
Encourage good eating habits. Lead by example! Offer a variety of foods. Ask your child to at least try a new food.
Offer your child nutritious snacks. Avoid foods high in sugar or fat. Cut up raw vegetables, fruits, cheese and other foods that could cause choking hazards.
Let your child help plan and make simple meals. He can set and clean up the table, pour cereal or make sandwiches. Always supervise any kitchen activity.
Make mealtime a pleasant time.
Restrict pop to rare occasions.
Limit 100 percent fruit juice to four to six ounces a day.
Your child needs 800 milligrams of calcium (three 8-ounce glasses) each day. Good sources of calcium are skim or 1 percent milk, cheese, yogurt, orange juice and soy milk with calcium added, and dark green, leafy vegetables.
Teach your child how to brush his teeth. Use a soft- bristled toothbrush. You do not need to use toothpaste. Have your child brush his teeth every day, preferably before bedtime.
Make regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. (Your child may need fluoride tablets if you have well water.)
Your child needs between 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.
Your child needs at least 60 minutes of active playtime most days of the week.
Physical activity helps build strong bones and muscles, lowers your child's risk of certain diseases (such as diabetes), increases flexibility, and increases self-esteem.
Choose activities your child enjoys: dance, running, walking, swimming, skating, etc.
Be sure to watch your child during any activity. Or better yet, join in!
Use an approved car seat every time your child rides in a car. He should be placed in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. He will be ready for a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall (usually between 8 and 12 years old).
Practice street safety. Tell your child why it is important to stay out of traffic.
Have your child ride a tricycle on the sidewalk, away from the street. Make sure he wears a helmet each time while riding.
Check outdoor playground equipment for loose parts and sharp edges. Supervise your child while at playgrounds. Do not let your child play outside alone.
Teach your child water safety. Enroll him in swimming lessons, if appropriate. Make sure he is always supervised and wears a life jacket when around a lake or river.
Keep all guns out of your child's reach. Keep guns and ammunition in different parts of the house.
Keep all medicines and poisons out of your child's reach at all times.
Teach your child animal safety.
Teach your child what to do if a stranger comes up to him. Warn your child never to go with a stranger or accept anything from a stranger. Teach your child to say "no" if he is uncomfortable. Also, talk about "good touch" and "bad touch."
Teach your child her name, address and phone number. Teach her how to dial 911.
Set goals and limits for your child. Make sure the goal is realistic and something your child can easily see. Teach your child that helping can be fun!
Give your child time outs for discipline (one minute for each year old).
Be clear and consistent with discipline. Make sure your child understands what you are saying and knows what you want.
Address the behavior, not the child. Do not use general statements like "You are a naughty boy."