Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Well Child Care at 3 Years
Mealtime should be a pleasant time for the family. If food
battles are common, ask your doctor for advice. Your child
should be completely feeding himself now. Avoid junk foods.
You are the parent, so you make the rules about good healthy
Development and Discipline
Children at this age often want to do things by themselves;
this is normal. Patience and encouragement will help
3-year-olds develop new skills and build self-confidence.
Some children still require diapers during the day and
night. Avoid putting too many demands on the child or
shaming him about wearing diapers. Let your child know how
proud and happy you are as toilet training progresses.
For all behaviors that you would like to encourage in your
child, try to "catch your child being good." That is, tell
your child how proud you are when he does what you want him
Here are some good methods for helping children learn about
rules and to keep them safe:
- Child-proof the home. Go through every room in your
house and remove anything that is either valuable,
dangerous, or messy. Preventive child-proofing will stop
many possible discipline problems. Don't expect a child
not to get into things just because you say no.
- Divert and substitute. If a child is playing with
something you don't want him to have, replace it with
another object or toy that the child enjoys. This
approach avoids a fight and does not place children in a
situation where they'll say "no."
- Teach and lead. Have as few rules as necessary and
enforce them. These rules should be rules important for
the child's safety. If a rule is broken, after a short
and clear explanation, punish immediately by having the
child sit alone for 3 minutes. It is very important that
punishment come immediately after a rule is broken.
- Be consistent with discipline. Don't make threats that
you cannot carry out. If you say you're going to do it,
For more information see: Normal Development: 3 Years
Prevent Fires and Burns
- Practice your fire escape plan.
- Check your smoke detector battery.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
- Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees F (50
Car, Pedestrian, and Play Safety
- Never leave your child alone in a car.
- Everyone in a car must always wear seat belts.
- Hold onto your child's hand when your are near traffic.
- Do not allow riding of a tricycle or other riding toys
on driveways or near traffic.
- Have your child wear a bicycle helmet while riding a
- It is too early to expect a child to look both ways
before crossing the street. Supervise all street
- Brushing teeth regularly after meals is important.
Think up a game and make brushing fun.
- Make an appointment for your child to see the dentist.
- Continuously watch your child around any water.
- Keep all medicines, vitamins, cleaning fluids, etc.
- Put the poison center number on all phones. The poison
control number is _____________________.
- Ask your doctor about syrup of Ipecac. Use it only if
you are told to do so.
- Purchase all medicines in containers with safety caps.
- Do not store toxic substances in drink bottles,
glasses, or jars.
Safety Around Strangers
- Teach your child the first and last names of family
- Teach your child never to go anywhere with a stranger.
- Do not allow your child to climb on ladders, chairs, or
- Make sure windows are closed or have screens that
cannot be pushed out.
A once-a-year check-up is recommended. Before starting
school your child will need some vaccinations.