Don’t be afraid of the U8 examination: This is what awaits you and your child


Until his fifth birthday, your child goes through a total of ten U-examinations, the U8 examination is already the ninth in this series. That’s why you and your child are probably already quite experienced in terms of the timing and organization of a check-up for children.

Maybe your diy baby swing frame will be especially excited before the appointment because they have so many tasks to accomplish. Talk to your child in advance about what to expect from the pediatrician. Also motivate it not to refuse the tasks set. After all, the pediatrician wants to know exactly what it can already do – and where it may still need some help.

In this article you can read at what age the U8 examination is carried out, how it works and what your child should be able to do. In addition, you will learn how to practice with your child in advance and what questions the pediatrician asks you.

How to find the best time for the U8 examination

Ideally, you should have completed the U8 examination at the pediatrician with your child between the ages of 46 and 48 months. At this point, your child is on the verge of his fourth birthday or has already celebrated it.

Now this period is quite narrow, especially against the background of the already overloaded pediatric practices in many places. For this reason, you can always have the U8 performed between the 43rd and 50th month of your child’s life.

Many pediatricians advise to start check-ups as late as possible. After all, the U8 examination as well as any other preventive examination for children takes a very close look at what your child can already do and what not yet.

Since children develop at different speeds and master some things earlier or later, a later appointment makes more sense. At this time, there is a high probability that your child will cope with all the requirements placed on him during the U8 examination.

Obligatory or not? Here you can find the answer

In principle, there is no legal obligation to actually have U-examinations carried out like the U8. Nevertheless, preventive examinations are mandatory in most federal states.

The authorities are interested in ensuring that every child grows up healthy and, if necessary, receives the support they need. Whether the U8 examination is also mandatory in your state, you can see from the following list:

In many cases, it can be read on the Internet that U-examinations are only mandatory in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse. However, this is not correct, as almost every federal state pays attention to the observance of every single preventive examination for children and thus also the U8 examination.

In almost all federal states, families who do not undergo these examinations are reported by the pediatrician to the health authorities. To ensure that no one misses U-examinations like the important U8, reminder letters are also sent out in many places – often by the health insurance companies or the municipalities.

What happens if you don’t go to the U-examination?

Of course, in everyday stress, despite reminders or notes on the kitchen wall, it can happen that you forget the U8 examination. Sometimes the consultation help at the pediatrician does not find a free appointment in the period in question.

To avoid the latter, you should make an appointment for the U8 examination as early as possible. It is best to arrange this immediately after the last U-examination before you and your child leave the practice again. Many pediatricians ask to make the appointment for the U8 at least half a year before the due date, so that scheduling difficulties are avoided.

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But what happens if you missed the U8 examination despite everything? In this case, it depends on which federal state you live in: In Bavaria or Hamburg, nothing happens at all, but you must be able to show the missed U-examination at the latest by the school entrance examination. Before starting school, the responsible medical officer checks whether all preventive examinations are available.

In other federal states (for example, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), however, your pediatrician reports the U8 examination to the regionally responsible authority. As a rule, this is the health office. If there is no response two months before the deadline, the Office will send a reminder to your family.

Now you have to react: Make an appointment for the U8 examination with your pediatrician and inform the health department in writing. If this does not happen or the date for the U8 is not met, then again a report is made to the youth welfare office – which in turn will pay you and your family a home visit. Of course, it doesn’t have to come that far.

During the U8 examination, the pediatrician checks your child’s linguistic, motor and social skills. To do this, you also have to fill out a parent questionnaire in which around 35 questions are asked about the different areas of development. In addition, your child will be asked to do so at the U8:

Painting and coloring a circle

To draw a person

Cut something out with scissors

Standing on one leg for at least three seconds without holding on

Jump forward at least 20 centimeters with your legs closed

Tell a short story or experience

If your child can’t paint a human yet: Don’t worry, he doesn’t have to. The pediatrician just wants to see if it corresponds to his age in his mental development.

Most four-year-olds can easily paint a stick figure or draw a head and belly with arms and legs on it. If your child still draws five fingers on each hand, the picture is perfect.

Your child’s ability to speak is tested by asking a nurse or pediatrician to describe a scene from a picture book or to report on an experience (such as your last trip to the zoo). Your child should use different adjectives and connect his sentences with “and then”.

In addition, your pediatrician checks the correct pronunciation of the words, which of course does not have to be perfect at this age. However, some children lisp quite pronounced or cannot yet articulate certain sounds. So you can support your child in speaking.

Optimally prepared: How to help your child pass the U8 examination

You can prepare your child for this part of the U8 examination at home by practicing these skills with him:

Cut out different shapes (circles, triangles, squares) with scissors

Drawing shapes and people (Pay attention to the correct pen posture!)

Telling a story (e.B to a scene from your favorite picture book)

Report on an experience (e.B. from a visit to the zoo, from the overnight stay with grandma)

To stand on one leg (always alternating left and right)

To jump with both legs

Repeat these exercises again and again and playfully incorporate them into your everyday life. For example, let your child talk about their kindergarten day and ask them open questions (where a “yes” or “no” is not enough as an answer).

Do not correct any errors, but repeat your child’s statements in correct grammar and wording. You can make cutting and drawing more exciting by practicing the males and shapes as part of a craft project.

A lot of guys don’t like to tinker or paint. However, they are quickly on fire when they are allowed to design their favorite characters or toys themselves.

Don’t be afraid of the U8 examination: That’s what the doctor does

As with other U-examinations, your child is first measured: body length, weight limite for a baby swing and head circumference give the pediatrician information about whether your child is developing according to age. In addition, these measures provide information about whether your child is still on his percentile.

Larger deviations from the growth curve sometimes suggest hidden diseases or developmental problems. As with other U-examinations, a urine sample must also be given to the U8 in order to rule out possible kidney problems or cystitis.

On this occasion, your pediatrician will also ask if your child is already dry and when (or if) he may still need a diaper. Occasional dropping or wetting is still perfectly normal at this age, as is the nocturnal diaper.

In the also mandatory blood pressure measurement, the blood pressure of your child should be around 90/60 mmHg. The pediatrician will then subject your child to a thorough physical examination. During the U8 examination, it is checked whether:

The internal organs are healthy and working properly

The skeleton is healthy and the spine has no curvature

The feet have a normal curvature and there are no deformities

Your child walks all over his foot and not just on the tips of his toes

Rolls off with your foot when walking

Your child keeps his back straight and can make it “round”

The genital organs are age-appropriately developed and healthy

There is no undescended testicle or foreskin narrowing in boys

Abnormalities in the skin are present, such as a rash or special sensitivities

Furthermore, the pediatrician performs an eye test and a hearing test during the U8 examination in order to rule out any refractive error or hearing problems. Vision is checked on the U8 with the help of a board on which your child must recognize and name certain symbols or images.

The hearing test, on the other hand, is carried out with the help of headphones in many U-examinations. If both tests are omitted, please talk to your pediatrician and ask for the reason.

Perhaps he routinely sends his patients to the ophthalmologist as well as the ear, nose and throat doctor and therefore does not carry out the tests himself. Also indispensable in the U8 examination is the examination of the child’s teeth or a referral to the dentist.

Plan a lot of time for the U8 examination

Compared to the previous U-examinations, you have to plan quite a lot of time for the U8: It takes about one and a half to two hours with all tests and examinations. Therefore, you should complete the U8 examination with your child in the morning if possible, when he has slept well and had breakfast.

Some pediatricians also divide the U8 examination and make two appointments, usually one for the physical examinations and one for the language and motor tests.

U8 Examination: Vaccination or not?

As planned, no vaccination is scheduled for the U8 examination. However, it may happen that any missed vaccinations have to be made up.

Failed the U8 examination? This is what is happening now

Don’t worry: there is no such thing as a “failure” in U-examinations. It’s also not bad if your child can’t do some things yet or can’t do them so well. In case of abnormalities or need for support, the pediatrician will probably recommend:

To go to the orthopedist (e.B. for shoe inserts).

Making an appointment with the ophthalmologist

To go to the dentist every half year.

In case of speech defects or a linguistic developmental delay, go to speech therapy with the child.

To go to occupational therapy for (fine) motor developments or social deficits.

No one is obliged to actually follow these recommendations. However, it is in your child’s interest that you follow the advice of your pediatrician. Many a later school problem could have been solved by the early visit of a speech therapist or an occupational therapist.

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