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Children’s Health

Providing a healthy and nutritious lifestyle for a child is always one of a parent’s main aims. Babies tend not to come with manuals so it can be daunting to say the least to know what is best for a child as every parent hopes to provide their child/children with the best life possible. The responsibility of a child is enormous and many parents take it in their stride and are naturals at bringing up children while some find it a bit more challenging so here is some healthy tips to help ensure a child is living the correct lifestyle.

Here is a mini parent guide to healthy children:

- Understanding growth and development

Children’s HealthChildren’s HealthUnderstanding developmental stages of a child especially a baby growing in to a toddler is vital so that each and every need is met accordingly. A baby will reach more milestone from birth to 3 years of age than it will do in its whole entire life as they are actually starting from scratch and learn to do the most important things at such an early stage. The toddler once a baby will move in to infancy and will demand more interaction as they will be experiencing new environments such as school. The toddler will develop in to a child that will soon become a teenager and will demand even more requirements. It is key to any child’s development that a parent understands the key development stages so that the child can be given the right support, encouragement and equipment to progress successfully in life.

- Healthy balanced diet

The nutrition needs of a child will change as they develop and get older. New born’s can thrive on breast milk or formula milk but as the baby gets older the introduction of solid food is important not only so they have a balanced diet but also for speech development. In order to provide a healthy balanced diet it must include; essential vitamins, minerals and nutritious foods so that their body can function to its full potential.

- The right amount of sleep

Sleep is considered almost as vital as food when it comes to children as it plays an important role in brain development. It is also increasingly important for teenagers to get the correct amount of sleep, as it is while they sleep that they release an essential hormone to help with the growth spurt they experience during puberty. Lack of sleep can reduce the body’s ability to function normally which can have a huge knock on effect when it comes to development.

- Management of hearing and speech

Hearing develops early on in foetal development and once the baby is born the body’s hearing function becomes in to force immediately. Often babies are given hearing tests shortly after birth to check that they can hear sounds to ensure their hearing is ok. It is imperative that a parent looks for signs that a baby is responding to sounds around them and rule out any problems with their hearing as getting the necessary help at the earliest possible moment can be crucial. Every baby is unique and they all develop at different stages but knowing or having an idea when certain milestones should be overcome is crucial in a child’s development. A significant milestone is when a baby begins to speak and parents should be aware at what ages and stages a baby will start to develop its speaking skills so that any speech delays can be spotted early.

- Looking after children’s eyesight

Unlike with the ears a child’s eyesight will not be fully developed at birth but will take around two months before a baby can focus on a person. It is paramount that a parent is aware of age appropriate vision milestones so that warning signs of vision difficulties can be spotted early on so that the baby can receive the care and attention it may need. Baby’s hit milestones at all different ages some earlier than others while some have delays but eventually hit the required milestone. If a parent is concerned it causes no harm to have it checked out, it may just be a concern after all.

- Caring for teeth

Processing good dental hygiene will ensure that children have strong healthy teeth for many years to come. Babies start to get teeth at different stages but once they get them it is important to look after them with regular brushing even if they only have a few teeth. The first dental check up should take place around the child’s first birthday then every six months after that if their teeth are considered healthy.

- Exercise

Exercise is not only crucial for weight loss but for all aspects of a child or adults health. It help to reduce a person’s chances serious illnesses such as a stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, it keeps the mind healthy and the body strong. Introducing exercise to a child at an early age is paramount as it has been proven scientifically that exercise can lead not only a healthy but happier life too. Society and new technologies have made it easier for people to be lazy. In past years adult’s jobs were more manual and they often got their exercise from simply getting to work, working and their journey home. With many different transport options and work consisting of office jobs people are immobilising less. It’s the same with children. Once a child would walk to and from school now many parents have cars, children would play outside for hours after school but now children are more interested in computer games and television and exercise is reduced to almost none. Exercise is as important for children as it is adults if not more so.

Also visit www.hhs.gov/children