Parenting comes with an unsaid amount of responsibility. Parents are always needed, from mopping up spills to bandaging up skinned knees. And if you’re a new parent, you may feel overwhelmed by the constant need for supervision and care. However, one of your key jobs as a parent is keeping your child healthy.
You’d want to ensure they’re getting enough nutrients, exercising, and not picking up bad habits. It’s a lifelong job, and you’ll get many free tips from well-meaning family and friends. But where do you start?
Here are some tips to get you started on the road to keeping your child healthy:
Provide the Care They Need
Not all children are born the same weight; some may have trouble gaining weight while others seem to put on pounds too quickly. It’s essential to monitor your child’s growth and provide the care they need to maintain a healthy weight. If your child is underweight, you’ll want to ensure they get enough calories and nutrients.
Sadly, childbirth injuries and defects are not uncommon. A good parent will provide the best possible care for their child, whether it’s surgery, therapy, or moral support. Some common birth injuries include oxygen deprivation, Erb’s palsy, and shoulder dystocia. These can be a result of medical negligence or just the result of a difficult delivery. If you feel your medical staff did not provide the care you or your child needed, seek medical malpractice assistance to discuss your options.
Get Them Vaccinated
It is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child’s health. Vaccines help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. CDC recommends that all children get vaccinated against 14 different diseases by the time they’re two years old.
However, there remain a few essential vaccines that your child should get even as they grow older such as the flu vaccine and the HPV vaccine.
It’s also important to get all the booster shots recommended by the CDC. These help to ensure that your child’s immunity is up-to-date and can protect them against new strains of diseases. Some important booster shots include DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis), IPV (polio), and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).
Make Sure They’re Eating Right
As a parent, you have enough control over what your child eats. You can ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need by making sure they’re eating a balanced diet. It means including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fats in their diet.
You must also limit their intake of sugary drinks and foods as well as sodium. Too much sugar can lead to cavities and obesity, while too much sodium can cause high blood pressure.
You can make mealtime fun for your child by involving them in the cooking process. For example, let them help you wash the vegetables or set the table. They’re more likely to eat their meal if they helped make it. And please allow them treats every once in a while. Depriving them of their favorite foods will only make them crave them more.
Encourage Them to Be Active
A sedentary lifestyle causes several health problems. Obesity is a common one! That’s why it’s important to encourage your child to be active from an early age. Get them involved in sports or activities they enjoy. If they don’t like team sports, there are plenty of other options such as dance, martial arts, or swimming.
Let them be active every day for at least 60 minutes. And make sure they’re not spending too much time in front of screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged two to five should only have one hour of screen time a day. That number should be no more than two hours a day for children aged six and up. And if your kid is constantly climbing the sofa or running around the house, that’s fine too. Just make sure they’re getting enough physical activity to stay healthy.
Follow a Scheduled Routine
If you have a baby or young child, you may already have a planner decked with sticky notes. But as they grow, it becomes more important to have a set routine. It will help them know what to expect and help them feel more secure.
A routine should not be rigid but should include regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and activities. For example, you might have breakfast at eight, playtime from nine to ten, and then it’s time for lunch at noon.
It’s also important to have some downtime built into the day so your child can relax and unwind. Studies reveal that growth hormones, namely cortisol, are released during rest periods. These hormones are essential for a child’s physical and mental development.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your child healthy. For more information, please consult your child’s healthcare provider. They can give you tailored advice based on your child’s individual needs. For example, some children may have chronic health conditions that require special care. But with the proper treatment and support, all children can lead healthy and happy lives.
Thanks for reading!