Caring for a child is a complicated, personal issue. Every parent approaches childcare differently, but if you’re looking for some tips on how to keep your child healthy, here are some tried and true standards:
1) Monitor Screen Time
Excessive TV-watching or time spent in front of a computer screen can contribute to childhood obesity, behavioral problems, and even cognitive issues in children under the age of 2. In order to avoid these issues and to ensure good future habits, put a limit on your child’s screen time by setting a timer, and instead engage your child in creative, interactive activities like coloring.
2) Make Sure He/She Gets Enough Sleep
Sleep affects a child’s growth, heart, weight, and immunity. Proper sleep can reduce the risk of injury, increase attention span, and boost learning. Ensure your child gets enough sleep by creating a routine, shutting off screens two hours before bedtime, and reading to him/her. Check with your doctor to find out how much sleep your child should be getting at each stage of development.
3) Promote Good Habits
Teach your child healthy habits by setting an example. Your child learns how to behave by watching you, and he or she will pick up on any and all of your habits: good or bad. So, make sure you’re maintaining your own good health, especially in the presence of your child.
4) Keep Your Child Hydrated
Proper hydration is essential to good health at any age, and especially so when we’re young. Children are more prone to dehydration because their bodies are not capable of cooling down as efficiently as ours. Take precautions during the heat of summer, offer healthy beverages at every meal, and provide plenty of water when your child is active.
5) Maintain A Healthy Diet
Good eating habits start early. Talk to your child about the necessity of healthy eating, and then encourage your child to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains, and protein. Limit added sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats, and check out Mayo Clinic’s nutrition guidelines for children.
6) Read Daily
Reading to your child when he or she is very young has multiple benefits: it can help create a strong bond between the two of you, increase your child’s aptitude for learning, help develop speech skills, improve logical thinking, enhance concentration, and decrease stress.
7) Take Your Child To The Doctor For Routine Checkups And Immunizations
The best way to prevent illness and make sure your child is developing properly is to visit his or her pediatrician regularly for checkups and immunizations. Set up a schedule with your doctor.
8) Socialize Your Child
It is important that your child interacts with other children his or her age to develop important social skills and avoid stress and social anxiety later in life. Encourage your child to play with other children by setting up play dates.
9) Make Sure Your Child Gets Active
Encourage your child to develop healthy exercise habits so they’re easy to maintain when he or she is older. When your child is of age, try enrolling him or her in a sport.
10) Talk To Your Child
One of the best things you can do for your child’s health is talk to him or her about the importance of healthy habits. Sit down and discuss nutrition and exercise, and always explain to your child why you’re enforcing certain habits. Every time.