Basics About Child Health

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Basics About Child Health


Your child's health is the most important thing, but there are so many things that need to be addressed to ensure a healthy and happy child. 

It can be very overwhelming making sure that you are doing everything on time so making a note about what to do when helps you to stay on top of things.  You will want to maintain all medical checkups, know when to call a doctor, ensure a healthy diet and monitor the smaller things that can have a big impact on a child.

Kids are quite resilient, but even the toughest tyke sometimes needs help from a pediatrician.  In addition to routine checkups, a school-age child should see a doctor if the following occur:

  •  If the child either loses or gains a significant amount of weight
  • If the child has a fever above 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If the child gets frequent sore throats
  • If the child has behavioral changes or problems with sleep
  • If the child has breathing problems
  • If the child has skin infections or rashes

Vaccines work to prevent many diseases that can be serious, and in some cases, life-threatening.

There is a general vaccine schedule that should be followed, but it is possible to work out a modified schedule for those who want their children to have some time in between each shot.  Knowing the general schedule allows parents and guardians to work out when vaccines are needed and it helps to keep them on track to get all of the shots their child needs to maximize their immunity.

 

Ideally, you should take your child to the eye doctor before starting school to ensure optimal eye health. 

This allows for a basic examination to make sure that your child is able to see well enough to successfully complete all school-related activities.  After the initial visit, schedule an eye examination once a year to keep an eye on how well your child can see.  There are some signs that your child may need to see an eye doctor, including:

  •  Poor performance at school
  • Not paying attention well
  • Difficulty seeing the chalk board
  • Eye pain or headaches
  • Trying to avoid school
  • Trouble writing and reading
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Taking a long time to complete homework

Children should start seeing a dentist as soon as their teeth start to come in. 

Even though the baby teeth do fall out as the child grows, it is important that these teeth are well taken care of.  General dental guidelines include:

  •  Brush twice a day
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Floss at least once a day
  • See the dentist every six months
  • Drink water that contains fluoride

Children love to get out and explore the world and this is a good thing, but you also want to keep them out of harm's way.  You cannot prevent every bump and bruise, but there are many things you can do to minimize accidents and injuries. 

Make sure your child is always wearing the right safety gear when participating in a sport or a recreational fitness activity, such as riding a bike or swimming.  An adult should be present with the child at all times, especially when near a road, fire, stairs water or other potentially dangerous places.

Like adults, kids need to exercise and be active so encourage physical activity.  Minimizing time in front of the television and computer help your child to learn and grow in the world.  Consider playing sports like catch with your child to not only get physical activity and to bond, but things like this also help your child's motor skills.

Children need adequate nutrition to grow and thrive so it is important to ensure your child gets enough from all of the major food groups each day. 

The macronutrients are the big things that the body needs to work properly. 

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body, but there are two kinds, including simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.  You want to limit the simple type and these are often found in junk foods.  Complex carbohydrates are usually healthier and are found in foods like whole grains.  Complex carbohydrates also help your child to get more fiber.

 Protein is important for normal growth and development and it is made up of amino acids.  These are 12 amino acids and children require all of them to grow.  Protein should be about 10 to 15 percent of the child's diet.  Common sources include lean meats, fish and chicken, low-fat dairy and eggs.

Children also need fats, but it is important that they get the right ones.  Almost all of the fats that your child gets should be unsaturated fats.  Nuts, seeds and lean meats are good sources of healthy fats.

Your child also needs micronutrients to ensure the body grows big and strong.  These include vitamins and minerals and the most important are:

  • Vitamins A
  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
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