Northwest Spokane Pediatrics
What should I expect from my 4-year-old?
- Idolizes parents.
- Seeks approval from adults.
- Tests limits constantly.
- Often prefers to play alone.
- Alternates between shyness and extroversion.
- Enjoys imaginative and imitative play.
- Has attention span of no more than a few minutes.
- Argues with other children.
- Still cries and hits at times
- Speaks about 1,000 words.
- Simple sentences are common.
- Use pronouns appropriately
- Uses plurals
- May show fear of unfamiliar objects or activities
- Nightmare can be very scary. And they can remember those powerful dreams.
- Jumps, gallops, tiptoes, runs
- Can walk backward
- May stumble and fall frequently
- Rides a tricycle
- Undresses self, but needs supervision when dressing
Meals should be a time for family to sit together without interference from radio or television. This should be a comfortable social time to discuss things amongst children and adults. Snacks should be healthy. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages.
Prevent Fires and Burns
- Practice a fire escape plan.
- Check smoke detectors. Replace the batteries if necessary.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
- Turn your water heater down to 120°F (50°C).
Car, Pedestrian, and Play Safety
- Never leave your child alone in a car.
- Everyone in a car must always wear seat belts or be in an appropriate booster seat or car seat.
- Hold onto your child's hand when you are near traffic.
- Do not allow riding of a tricycle or other riding toys on driveways or near traffic.
- All family members should use a bicycle helmet, even when riding a tricycle.
- Practice crossing the street. Make sure your child stays right with you.
- Teach your child their first and last name.
- The child should also know who their relatives are.
- Teach your child never to go anywhere with a stranger.
- Says only one or two words at a time.
- Can not answer “who” or “what” questions.
- Does not initiate conversations or only reports what others say.
- Strangers understand less than ¾ of what your child says
(Excerpted from Spokane Regional Health District’s Infant Toddler Network.)