Jake welcomes his Kindergarten checkup with Dr. Dee but fears the necessary and inevitable shots. His tag-along sister Chloe increases his fear at each step of the exam until her surprising empathy helps Jake muster the courage to complete the checkup. The two head home, Jake Kindergarten-bound, both deliciously-rewarded. Included: easy-to-understand explanations of a checkup’s elements and the accompanying medical tools and Tips for Parents—Preparing for Your Child’s Well Child Checkup and Vaccines.

Tips for Parents

Preparing for Your Well Child Check-Up and Vaccines

Well child checks are a routine part of a child’s life. These visits are opportunities to follow their growth and development and to review accurate information regarding their overall health. Topics such as nutrition, bedwetting, parenting, and, of course, vaccinations can all be reviewed at this time. Here are some tips to prepare for these visits.

For your Child
  • Let your child know before hand that they will be visiting the doctor to make sure that their body is healthy. Casting the visit in a positive manner should alleviate any initial fear that something may be wrong. Children who are more sensitive may agonize for days before the visit, so use your best judgment regarding how much time in advance to share the information with them.
  • Many children like to play out their visit beforehand. Providing the children with a doctor kit may also help alleviate any fear of the upcoming visit and its consequences.
  • Arrive early so there is plenty of time to do the paper work. Allow your child to play in the waiting room.
  • If your child is anxious about vaccines (shots, immunizations) let him/her know that the doctor will help you decide what is best and that vaccines are there to help keep the body healthy.
  • There is no need to say that the shot won’t hurt. Of course it hurts, but certainly not as bad as the child’s imagination makes it out be.
  • Teach them the concept of “0 to 10”: “0” is no pain (the child is happy and content), while “10” is the worst pain. Inform the child that a shot is about a “2”. Most pre-school children can understand this concept.
For Parents
  • Bring your child’s immunization card to the visit. Keeping track of vaccines and updating your immunization card is vital for the school entrance paperwork
  • Your physician’s office will also need to know your insurance information and any recent updates in your child’s health history
  • Don’t make promises for “no shots.” If your child is particularly anxious about the possibility of a shot, speak to your physician. There are numbing creams, sprays, breathing techniques and other approaches to managing their anxiety (tell a joke! talk about a funny memory!)
  • Avoid excessive reassurance, apologies or criticism if your child is distressed. Typically, a sense of calm acceptance on the parent’s behalf goes a long way in providing them with comfort
  • Plan time to celebrate in your own way with your child after the check up. Take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with your child one on one
For Parents - Two Month Old
  • Being a parent is one of the most amazing chapters of life!  The joy, the sleepless nights, the decisions and the enormous sense of purpose that a baby brings to our life is an amazing experience. Yet, other than love, food, and shelter, vaccine are the next best thing that you can do to keep your baby healthy.The American Academy of Pediatrics provides health care providers with a recommended schedule for immunizations (vaccines) as it serves are the surveillance board monitoring the prevalence of illnesses across our country.  In order to best prepare yourself and your baby for the vaccines start by choosing a health provider that is up to date with the latest recommendations.When your baby is ready to receive it’s first round of vaccines (usually at 2 months of age) make sure that he/she is healthy and gaining weight well.  These visits are usually fun for both the parent and the health care provider.  Start by making a list of the questions that you will like to review.The vaccines are usually given at the end of the visit.  Avoid breast/bottle feeding while your baby is actually receiving the vaccines.  Use distraction such as cooing, smiling and reassuring words that you’ll baby will recognize coming from you.After the vaccines are given, pick up your baby and console in the manner that you usually do at home.  Nurse or feed on site if this is an option at your health provider’s office.Before leaving you will be given information regarding the vaccines received and an immunization card that will serve as a log to keep track of all your child’s immunizations.  This log is crucial at the time of registering your child for school.Once home, some babies may become fussy after a couple hours.  A bath is very helpful.  You may also notice that your baby will sleep a bit more the next day.Your baby may develop a fever within one or two days of this first set of vaccines.  A low grade fever is normal and consider to be a good response of the immune system to the vaccines.  You can give your baby a dose of acetaminophen if the temp is over 102° F and after speaking with your health care provider.  If your baby cries excessively (over 3 hours) please contact your health care provider immediately.You may also notice some redness at the site of the vaccines.  This soreness can be helped by applying a cool compress a few times a day.  Expect this to resolve over the following couple of days.  All of this is very normal and by no means an adverse reaction.Many babies breeze right through the visit and never experience any further discomfort with the vaccines.  Enjoy your baby and rest assured that vaccines provide safe and effective immunity against some dreaded illnesses.
Kirkus Media Book Review

    Experienced pediatrician de Freitas shows her comforting bedside manner in this very encouraging, cheerfully illustrated picture book. Jake is ready for kindergarten except for one thing: his kindergarten checkup. His little sister, Chloe, who loves to play doctor, can’t wait for Jake to go, but he’s worried about having to get a shot. At a doctor’s office populated by a diverse array of patients and staff, Jake’s mom tries to comfort him: “It’ll be over before you know it,” she says. “Let’s wait and see what Dr. Dee says.” As the nurse takes Jake through all his measurements, Chloe can’t wait for it to be her turn. Jake’s frustrated by her distractions: “This is my appointment. Remember?!” Through the regular weight and height checks to the more specific kindergarten-readiness tests, such as the hearing test and a urine check, de Freitas describes everything approachably, allowing children to feel that maybe Jake’s worries aren’t so well-founded. When Dr. Dee, a woman pediatrician, enters, there’s even more checking to do. De Freitas introduces various medical terms—including the otoscope and opthalmoscope—that will please the Doc McStuffins crowd. But soon, despite the fun of the visit, the dreaded moment arrives: it’s time for a shot. It’s not Jake who needs comforting, though—it’s Chloe, who’s suddenly in tears! Jake is so distracted by Chloe’s crying and his admirable big-brother efforts to comfort her, he hardly notices his shot at all. Lyon presents all the instruments and atmosphere of the pediatrician’s office in clear, easy to identify, soft-hued illustrations, and her cartoonlike characters have easy-to-read facial expressions. With the heavy load of text, necessary for all the information offered, it could be a case of information overload. But Freitas and Lyon sidestep potential confusion with a well-considered layout that sometimes features three or four pictures per page, showing each step of the process. De Freitas’ dialogue is spot-on, and nervous youngsters will find Dr. Dee’s interactions with Jake and Chloe reassuring. Help kids prepare for a doctor’s visit, especially the Kindergarten checkup, with helpful tips for Mom and Dad, too.

    Chrystal de Freitas
    Illus. byTammie Lyon
    Carmel Valley Pediatrics (38 pp.)
    $9.95 paperback
    ISBN: 978-0-9844529-4-1; January 10, 2016

Mom's Choice Award Gold
  • certificate


    Chrystal de Freitas
    Illus. byTammie Lyon
    Carmel Valley Pediatrics (38 pp.)
    $9.95 paperback
    ISBN: 978-0-9844529-4-1; January 10, 2016

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I rate the book 5 stars! My girls, Savannah (2.5 yrs.) and Avery (almost 4 yrs.) love Jake’s Kindergarten Checkup. They are patients of Dr. DeFreitas and were excited to get a book about their favorite pediatrician. Avery’s 4-year-check-up is just around the corner, so we have included this book in their goodnight stories. It’s especially fun for Savannah who will get out her doctor kit and start giving me a check-up while I read the story. She used to pretend she was Dr. Anna (from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood), but now she says she is Dr. “Free-tas.” I’m not sure there a higher compliment!

Aimee – Encinitas

About the Author & Illustrator

Dr. Chrystal de Freitas

Dr. Chrystal de Freitas is an author, mother and pediatrician with a special interest in health education. While Jake’s Kindergarten Checkup is her first picture book, she has authored several other well received books and educational material in her field. A pediatrician for over 34 years, Dr. de Freitas is the founder of Carmel Valley Pediatrics. In addition, she is the President of Healthy Chats ®, which provides health education seminars to parents and their pre­teen children in the community, at the local hospitals and online. Among her honors and achievements, she has been selected by the San Diego County Medical Society and San Diego Magazine as one of the area’s top doctors. Dr. de Freitas lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, Dr. Jeff Bonadio. They have three adult children.

Tammie Lyon

Tammie Lyon is the award winning author and illustrator of numerous books for children.Let’s Hear It For Almigal was recently awarded the Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal Winner. My Pup and Bugs In My Hair, have both been included on the list of the “Top 100 Best Children’s Books” by the Bank Street College of Education and The Channing O’Banning series was awarded the Ben Franklin award for excellence in independent publishing. She is known for her work on the Eloise series for Simon and Schuster as well as her new series,Katie Woo, published by Stonearch Books.

Tammie’s first written and illustrated title, Olive and Snowflake, Marshall Cavendish Publisher, has been released receiving a stared reviews from both Kirkus and School Library Journal. Tammie is currently writing and illustrating an early chapter series for emergent readers which she has developed to celebrate childrens’ diversity.

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