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Health and development checks: 3 to 5 years

Your child will get two more checks between the ages of 3 and 5.

46 to 48 months

This check will happen between 46 and 48 months (3 years 10 months to 4 years) of age. This will take place in your local health centre.

Your child will be weighed and their height measured.

Your PHN will also check:


To see if your child’s eyes point in the same direction

Posture and large movements

For example, if your child jumps, climbs well, pedals a tricycle, balances on 1 foot

Fine movements

If your child can pick up pins and threads, hold a pencil and copy a circle.

Speech development

If your child can:

  • answer simple questions like “who?”and “why?”
  • talk about activities at play school or a friend’s home
  • usually be understood by people outside of the family

Cognitive development (learning, thinking and problem-solving)

If your child can:

  • do puzzles with 3 to 4 pieces
  • work toys with buttons, levers and moving parts
  • turn door handles

Social, emotional, behavioural and play development

If your child:

  • uses imaginative play
  • take turns
  • holds eye contact
  • is toilet trained
  • shows affection to friends without being prompted

You will also be able to talk to your PHN about health and nutrition, safety issues and other concerns.

4 to 5 years

Your child will get this check at school when they are in junior infants. You will be asked to sign a consent form before this check.

You will be asked to answer some questions about your child's general health. This gives an overall picture of how your child is doing.

Your school public health nurse will check your child’s hearing and eyes. If needed your child may be sent for a further check or a referral to a specialist.

Related topics

Developmental milestones

Your child's hearing

Development of sexuality in children

Your child's eyes

Your child's weight

Learning through play

Extra support for parents

Page last reviewed: 18 December 2022
Next review due: 18 December 2025

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.