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Seven- to Eight-Year-Olds

Ages and Stages Photo Gallery

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Updated March 27, 2011

The middle school years are a time of great change in your child.
An eight-year-old school girl.

An eight-year-old school girl.

Photo (c) Debi Bishop
The middle years are a time of great change in your child. In addition to perhaps starting puberty, her mind will grow to understand logical and abstract thinking and she will develop the moral standards by which she will live her life. You can also expect your child to begin to move away from her family a little as she develops her own identity and also becomes more influenced by her friends. Fortunately, this influence is usually limited to outward things, such as hair and clothing styles.

Childhood obesity is often a problem at this age, with many kids getting too many calories from what they are drinking. How much should your kids be drinking? Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that 8-year-olds get about 3 servings of low fat milk (older kids aged 9-18 years old get about 4 servings of low fat milk or other foods high in calcium) and only 8-12 ounces of 100% pasteurized fruit juice a day.

Anything else your child is drinking should be limited to water most of the times, although you might make an exception for a sport's drink, like Gatorade, after heavy exercise.

What You Need To Know About Your Seven- to Eight-Year-Old

  • Encourage self esteem and a positive self image in your child.
  • Teach stranger awareness.
  • According the latest car seat guidelines, children should sit in a belt-positioning booster seat when they reach the weight and height harness strap limits of their forward-facing car seat. The move to regular seat belts should not occur until kids are "old enough and large enough" for the seat belts to protect them properly, which usually isn't until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall (57 inches) and are between 8 and 12 years old.
  • At the 7- to 8-year-old checkup, you can expect a complete physical exam, a review of nutrition and sleep schedules, measurement of your child's height, weight and blood pressure. Your child will also receive his Varivax booster (if he hasn't had chickenpox), if he hasn't had it already, and any other shots she is missing. A screening vision test and hearing test will also likely be done.
  • Common School Age Problems

Seven- to Eight-Year-Old School Age Topics

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  2. Health
  3. Pediatrics

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