Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott

STAGES: 11 YEARS

Eleven year-olds are often referred to as ‘tweeners’, because they are between childhood and teens. I always find it an interesting age in my well child exam. Some 11 year-olds are completely prepubescent and some are well into puberty. Some have great relationships with their parents and some are well on their way to strife and struggles with parents. I find the visit a fabulous opportunity to educate preteens about their bodies and good healthy behaviors. Safety Substance use and abuse: This topic must be addressed. It is not unreasonable to have the expectation that your child should NOT use tobacco,...

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STAGES: 8-9 YEARS

Eight to nine years is what I consider the age of accountability. Children this age have more responsibilities both at home and school. They develop confidence and a sense of accomplishment as they learn new things, complete homework, and take part in jobs at home. At this age, children really begin to learn the importance of friends and seek the influence of those outside of their home to form opinions and new ideas. Children of this age identify with others of the same gender and often have a “best friend.” Safety Car: Use an appropriate-sized belt positioning booster seat...

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STAGES: 6-7 YEARS

“What can I do?” is the pressing question for kids ages 6-7 years. They are continuously testing what their bodies can do, “How fast can I run?” or “How far can I kick this ball?” Their coordination and, consequently, confidence is improving. They want to be independent, but do not consistently make good decisions. Safety Car: Use an appropriate-sized booster seat in the back seat of the car. Children should be in a booster between 4 and 8 years old, and 40-60 lbs. Seat belts alone should not be used until the belt fits securely across the child’s hips;...

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STAGES: 5 YEARS

Going to school is the major milestone for 5 year olds. It is a time of great excitement, fear, and change for many 5 year olds. Every child demonstrates different levels of school readiness. In addition to formal education, children learn important social skills. Safety Car: Use an appropriate-sized booster seat in the back seat of the car. Children should be in a booster between 4 and 8 years old, and 40-60 lbs. Seat belts alone should not be used until the belt fits securely across the child’s hips; and the belt should not come up on the stomach...

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STAGES: 6 MONTHS

I think six months is the golden age of infancy. Your baby is old enough to sit on her own, she’s content if you set her on the ground with some toys for a few minutes, she won’t crawl away (yet), she sleeps through the night, she’s smiley and responsive; it’s all around—golden. Safety Car: use an infant seat, in the back seat of the vehicle, rear facing (I like the 5 point harness style that allows you to pull the straps tight against the infant’s chest).  Keep in mind that if you have a big baby, you may have...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott


I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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