Since 1928, the first Monday in October has been observed as Child Health Day in the United States. Various child welfare organizations collaborate on this day to raise awareness about the importance of child health. As a parent, you want the best for your children. Be it planning a healthy pregnancy or ensuring their children wear seatbelts; parents are always concerned about the well-being of their children.
Though parenting is a challenging task, the following tips will do a world of good to improve your child’s health:
Watch out for birth injuries
Birth injuries are pretty common. While many quickly heal within a few months, some severe ones like Erb’s palsy cause physical and neurological damage that can have lifelong consequences, including physical and learning disabilities. Therefore, consult your child’s doctor on time to spot signs of birth injuries early on. These conditions can be quite daunting to manage, so you get all the help you need. You can sue the responsible medical team for medical malpractice for Erbs palsy and seek compensation for future quality-of-life improvements for your child.
Encourage physical activities
Physically inactive kids are more likely to develop health issues. Unfortunately, most children today spend most of their time using smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. While this may be a good thing for educational purposes, it can quickly become a bad, unproductive habit to break. But you can break this habit by encouraging physical activity to help your children live a healthy lifestyle instead of a sedentary one. Here are a few surefire ways to incorporate physical activities into their routine:
Prioritize fun: You should figure out an activity your munchkin loves. The more they like it, the longer they will stick to it.
Provide a secure environment: As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring your child’s play area is safe and the equipment is reliable. When children get hurt while playing or encounter a bad experience, you might have difficulty pursuing them to play again.
Give compliments: Be it mastering a handstand or playing a nice cover drive, give positive feedback to your kids. In the early years of their life, you should try to enhance kids’ confidence, and a word of acknowledgment will do this job.
Serve fruits and vegetables
Your child’s diet should include various colorful and fresh fruits and vegetables. These nutrient-dense foods are vital to their development, health, and growth. After baby cereal, babies tend to enjoy eating fruits. However, children become more picky eaters as they get older. This picky eating often extends to fruits and vegetables, eventually making them forbidden foods.
At this point, many parents try to force children to consume more fruits and vegetables. But these tactics often fail. Children learn by example. Therefore, the best way would be to make fruits and vegetables part of their diet. Even though it might take some time, this is the best teaching method.
For optimal nutrition, your child should consume at least two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables daily, depending on age and gender. That said, a single bowl of strawberries and a big plate of iceberg lettuce will not cut it. Since no single fruit or vegetable contains all the nutrients our body needs, eating a variety is the best way to ensure your child is well-nourished.
Set an early sleep time
Following well-documented research, sleeping before midnight leads to sound slumber. Throughout the night, we go through multiple mild and deep sleep cycles. But the longest deep sleep cycles occur early in the night. During these stages, our brains perform important actions such as replacing essential cells, mending muscles, and releasing growth hormones.
Simply put, children who stay up later may get the same amount of sleep each night as those who go to bed at 7:00 p.m. Yet, they will get significantly less of that lovely, deep sleep. So putting your kids to bed earlier will ensure they get as much good quality sleep as possible.
Consistently going to bed at the same hour every night promotes healthy sleep patterns. Young children may benefit from a bedtime ritual that includes a bath, a story, and a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, the ritual of older children may involve a conversation about the day followed by time spent alone resting before lights out.
Prioritize oral health
In the United States, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases among children. Cavities that go untreated can cause pain and infections, which can hurt one’s ability to speak, bite, and chew. Studies also reveal that children with poor dental health miss more school and have lower scores.
Make brushing your child’s teeth a fun activity by singing a few songs and spicing up fun. Instruct your kids to clean their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, following the 2 x 2 rule. Also, take your child to the dentist at least twice a year.
Protect their skin
The summer sun is not good for kids. UV rays can damage their skin big time. If possible, parents should keep their infants under six months out of direct sunlight. In addition, having your kids wear caps and lightweight clothing that protects their arms and legs is a good idea. Remember that newborns overheat easily. So keep an eye on them for dehydration symptoms. FDA advises against the use of sunscreen on babies younger than six months. All kids over six months old should wear sunscreen.
Teach kids to wash hands regularly
Preventing diseases begins with frequent, thorough hand washing with soap and water. When children come into contact with bacteria, they can readily transfer them. More so if your kids have a habit of scratching their noses or wiping their eyes. When teaching kids to wash their hands, tell them to do so for 20 seconds. If washing hands is not an option, using a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is the next best way to kill germs.
As a parent, your actions begin even before your child is born. Children are more likely to reach their potential and live a happy and healthy life, and we advise parents to improve their children’s health. The tips and instructions mentioned above will help you get started.