How To Maintain Your Children’s Health And Wellness
There is no denying that raising a child is a significant and costly responsibility for all parents. Indeed, a US Department of Agriculture report reveals that the average middle-income family spends $12,000-$14,000 on child-related expenses alone yearly. A significant aspect of raising your kids is ensuring that they are strong and healthy to reduce the occurrence of sick days. Fortunately, there is no shortage of things you can do to keep your children in good health all year round. Here are some tips worth knowing to stay on top of your children’s wellness.
- Offer healthy snacks
Children are prone to overindulgence and will likely eat a lot of anything as long as it is sweet or salty, so offer them healthy snacks instead of junk food alternatives. You can combine these snacks with healthy meals to ensure your kids receive the nutrients they need. Also, offer healthy drink options like water and milk instead of sugar-sweetened beverages to reinforce healthy eating habits.
- Get frequent hearing and vision checks
It would also be best to regularly test your children’s hearing and vision as part of their annual routine wellness examinations. These screenings are vital to spot and address potential issues early before they become lifelong problems. You can identify learning disabilities early on through hearing and vision checks. This way, your children can receive the necessary educational resources to support them. These checks are also necessary to improve your children’s communication and safety since subpar hearing and vision compromise these two elements. Therefore, take your children to see a pediatric audiologist and an ophthalmologist at least once yearly to have their hearing and vision checked.
- Get current on vaccinations
Vaccination is one of the best ways to shield your infants, children, and teenagers from a wide range of diseases that can be serious and even fatal. These diseases include polio, chickenpox, seasonal flu, influenza, measles, tetanus, and HPV. Consequently, it is essential to ensure that your children receive the appropriate vaccines recommended for their age group. Additionally, the CDC recommends that everyone aged over 12 years receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As such, it would be best to ensure that all your teenagers get fully vaccinated to keep them protected.
- Teach proper handwashing
Many health experts agree that hand washing is one of the most effective techniques to control germ spread and keep children healthy. Consequently, instill proper handwashing habits in your children to prevent them from falling ill regularly. You must teach them to wash their hands before eating and after playing with pets, coughing, sneezing, using the bathroom, and blowing their noses. Also, emphasize the importance of handwashing for at least 20 seconds since this is enough time to wash off any dirt. Finally, ensure that your children always have hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to use when handwashing is not possible.
- Look out for stress and anxiety symptoms
Childhood is often regarded as a period of bliss, but children navigate numerous stressful situations in their daily lives. Therefore, your children might be cracking under the weight of academic pressure and high-stakes tests, over-stuffed schedules, bullying, and social pressure. As such, it is essential to watch out for telltale signs of stress and anxiety in children to stay on top of their wellness. Some of the signs to look out for include bedwetting, withdrawal from family members and peers, behavioral changes, difficulty in concentration, and decreased or increased appetite.
Research indicates that stress and anxiety can negatively affect children’s health, much like adults. Consequently, find various ways to effectively manage your kids’ stress and anxiety. You can work with your kids to identify things in their lives that they can control and brainstorm various de-stressing ideas together. This stress relief tactic might be playing a board game for some children, while others can enjoy writing in a journal or going for a walk.
- Establish excellent sleep hygiene
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) estimates that about 50% of children will experience a sleep problem. This data is quite distressing, given that missed sleep can lead to various negative outcomes for children, including poor concentration, depression, obesity, daytime sleepiness, and irritability. Poor sleep can also affect your children’s overall academic performance. Therefore, it is essential to establish good sleep hygiene for your children to ensure that they are always well-rested. You can implement a routine that starts about two hours before bedtime, including activities like a warm shower and reading a bedtime story to help them relax. Furthermore, keep their bedtime and waketime consistent and optimize their bedroom for better sleep.