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Checkups at 3 Years

What Can Your Child Do?

  • He jumps in place, kicks a ball, and can stand on 1 foot.
  • She can pedal a tricycle.
  • He alternates feet going upstairs.
  • She should be saying frequent sentences that almost everyone understands.
  • He knows his age and sex.
  • She can count to 3.
  • He can draw a circle and a cross when he sees you draw these.
  • She should recognize some colors.
  • His pretend play is well developed.
  • She can put on many of her clothes and feed herself.

What Can Your Child Eat?

  • He should have a balanced diet.
  • Candy and sugary snacks lead to obesity and cavities. Discourage your child from frequent snacking other than with fruits or vegetables. Also avoid giving extra salt in her diet.
  • Increase his intake of fiber by giving cereals, whole-grain breads, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Make sure your child brushes her teeth at least once a day.
  • He should have a dental checkup sometime soon.
  • She may be a picky eater especially compared to her first year. Offer her a balanced meal, but do not force her to eat. Do not let her dictate what is served. If she does not eat the wholesome meal you have served, wait two hours and give her a snack of fruit.
  • If he is a picky eater, give him a multivitamin daily.
  • If your home does not have fluoride in the water, a fluoride vitamin will be prescribed for her.


If your toddler is up-to-date on vaccinations, then he will probably not need any more until he is 4- or 5-years-old.

Tests to Be Done

  • A tuberculin (TB) skin test may be needed if your child has been exposed to someone with TB, a chronic cough, IV drug use, HIV disease (AIDS), recent prison time, time in a developing country, or if required by school or insurance.
  • Your child may have an analysis of her urine at her 3-year checkup. This checks for kidney disease, diabetes, and bladder infections. Silent kidney infections in young girls can lead to kidney damage over time.

Your child needs a lead test if:

  1. He lives or regularly visits a house built before 1960, an old house with peeling or chipping paint, a home with lead plumbing, a home on a major highway, or one near a lead-producing or battery recycling plant.
  2. You have given her any home remedies that contain lead.
  3. Any of his friends or brothers or sisters have had lead poisoning or he eats paint chips or dirt.
  4. She is around an adult who works with lead in construction, welding, pottery, bullets, fishing weights, a firing range, stained glass, refinishing furniture, or car repair.

Accident Prevention

  • It is unsafe for your child to ride in the back of a pickup truck at any age.
  • By the time your child is 40 pounds, he can wear a regular safety belt with a booster seat in the back seat. No young child should sit in the front seat of a car with airbags.
  • Teach her to avoid running any time she is near the street.
  • Watch him around strange animals, because he may be unaware of the possible danger.
  • Protect your child from burns in your kitchen, bathtub, with space heaters, and while she is experimenting with matches or lighters.
  • Do not leave your child alone in your house or car. Beware of automatic car windows and garage door openers which should be too high for him to reach.
  • Keep her away from power tools and electrical equipment at this age.
  • Falls often occur at this age because young children are so active.
  • Storage batteries for toys and games can cause terrible problems if swallowed by your child.
  • You should watch him on the playground at all times to avoid injuries.
  • Do not leave her alone with plastic bags or balloons.
  • Keep guns and sharp objects locked away.
  • Protect him from common household poisons such as liquor, mothballs, furniture polish, drain cleaners, weed killers, insect and rat poisons, kerosene, bleach, cosmetics, and dishwasher detergents.
  • Iron vitamins are a very common cause of death by poisoning in children.
  • Remember that 25% of childhood poisonings occur at the grandparent's house.
  • The number for Poison Control is 1-800-POISON 1 (1-800-764-7661). Have Ipecac at home in case she ingests a poison, but do not give it unless told to by Poison Control or your doctor.

Emotional and Social Development

  • Each parent should have time alone with your child. This shows him that he is important to both of you. Encourage him to talk about his day.
  • She should be allowed to explore, show initiative, and talk about what is important to her.
  • Allow him to make choices whenever possible (red or yellow shirt, jelly or butter on his toast). This helps build his self-confidence by showing him that you trust his judgment.
  • Take her to places outside your home such as the park, children's museums, and the library.
  • Explain the consequences of bad behavior to your child. Encourage him to share and to treat his friends and siblings well.
  • You cannot show too much affection toward her.
  • About 80% of children are potty trained by 3 years of age, but a few are not. This is normal and not the parent's or the child's fault.
  • Children at this age will be curious about the physical differences between boy and girl babies.
  • Never joke about hurting or abandoning him. At this age he might take this quite seriously.
  • Read frequently to her from a picture book.
  • He will enjoy time with children of his same age.
  • Censor so-called "children's programs." In many of them there is too much violence. Do not use the television as an alternative to interaction with you. This is a very poor substitute.
  • Be careful what mature movies and television your child sees. Even if she does not understand what she views, the intensity of the adult themes may lead to restless sleep or nightmares.
  • He should have a regular bedtime with a short bedtime ritual.
  • She probably has a favorite security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal.

Moral Development of Your Child

  • He will learn more from your example than from what you tell him. If you model smoking and frequent drinking, he will likely do these when he is older. If you model divorce or sexual activity with many partners, he will likely repeat this in adulthood. If you eat too much, swear often, and are self-centered, your child will likely be just like you 15 years from now.
  • You should limit her exposure to undesirable influences such as the undisciplined child next door, television, movies, and some printed material. All of these affect the way she thinks and the values she develops. Let her be a child for as long as possible.
  • TV and movies cause problems because children watch so much, adult activities such as sex and violence can be "understood" to a degree by young children, the impressive technology seems "truthful" and they appear more exciting than ordinary life, giving a skewed view of reality.
  • You should set limits on the amount and type of programs he watches and teach him what is good and bad morally about what he sees.
  • Irresponsible sexuality is shown on television as glamorous and without risks. About 80-90% of the sexuality shown on television is premarital, extramarital, or violent, and most of the marital sex is depicted as unenjoyable. Seldom is an unintended pregnancy, disease, or divorce mentioned. Most parents disagree with this type of irresponsible sexuality, yet do not realize how their child is being trained by what she sees.
  • Violence as shown in the movies and television is usually self-serving or vengeful. If you do not want her to think of violence as an acceptable behavior when she is angry or selfish, you need to limit her exposure to that philosophy.
  • It is philosophically difficult to maintain firm moral standards without some form of religious instruction. Traditional Christianity and Judaism place value on the individual, the healthy family, and compassion toward others. The media and most other world views emphasize selfishness, irresponsible lives, and hunger for possessions. This is one of the main reasons so many children, teenagers, and young adults are confused and in trouble.
  • We strongly encourage you to provide your child with religious instruction. Otherwise her values will be shaped by others with whom you may not agree. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to join a traditional Christian church or Jewish synagogue that has a good children's program.
  • Moral instruction begins at a young age. Waiting to begin until your child is a teenager is too late.



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The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000
We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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