In this post we focus on 5 ways to help monitor your child’s health. Good health is crucial to your child’s happiness and wellbeing. If you look after your child’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, you give them a good chance of maintaining health throughout their lives. The early years are critical in teaching good habits and spotting potential problems.
Their Exercise Routine
Kids love to exercise, even if they don’t realise they love it. They might not hit the gym and eagerly run to the treadmill or hit the weight bench, but playing with friends, going for bike rides, and racing around the playground are all ways to burn off energy.
This is why it’s essential to encourage them to get outside and do something, rather than sit in front of the TV all day playing video games. Even if they don’t have a suitable play area nearby, joining a sports team, whether football, basketball, or anything else, will help them get the vital exercise they need.
Most people associate needing glasses with getting older, when eyesight starts to decline, and you can’t see as well as you used to. However, when a child’s eyesight is failing, they may not be able to communicate this or even understand what is happening.
A short attention span may be an indication of visual issues. If your child is a reluctant reader or struggles to fully engage in more intricate activities, it may be that their vision is impairing them. They may sit very close to the TV when they are concentrating or have issues at school. If you recognise any signs of vision issues, take them for an eye test.
Developing healthy eating habits in your children now, will ensure they continue such habits later in life. Too many kids are fussy over what they eat, or they’d rather the immediate gratification of junk food rather than sit down and eat a delicious and nutritious meal.
You can’t monitor their diet all the time, but you can do enough to ensure that they aren’t afraid to try new and healthy foods. Pack healthy lunches for them at school or speak to administrators about healthy food options. Prove the benefits of eating well to them so they learn seek such food out by themselves.
Minor Injuries and Illnesses
Kids are not invincible, they catch colds and hurt themselves all the time! Empower children by helping them clean and care for any injuries to prevent infections. If they have fallen at the park and scraped their knee, it’s important to be calm and collected in your reaction. A child will panic if the adult dealing with their injury is panicking. Before treatment, identify the problem and check for any other issues, clean the wound and place a plaster or bandage over it if necessary. If it is particularly severe, be sure to clean it every day and replace the covering. An older child could take responsibility for their wound care with minimal supervision.
Similarly, children should be encouraged to manage minor illnesses such as coughs and colds. Of course there’s nothing better than a ‘parent cuddle’ if a child is poorly and a parent should always be the one to administer any medication such as paracetamol but children can remember to put a tissue into their pocket!
Their Head and Heart
Looking after and monitoring your child’s health does not only relate to the physical side, you must also think about the mental aspects that could affect your kid’s wellbeing.
You might be thinking, ‘what does a child need to worry about?’ but you’d be surprised. There are plenty of things that can affect a child’s self-esteem and mental health, such as school anxiety and friendships. Talk to them about their feelings so that they become more comfortable discussing issues with you. From here, they will be able to work through mental health issues with greater confidence, making them happier making you happy too.
Guide and Educate
You can’t be there all the time to monitor your child’s health. What you can do, however, is make sure that they understand the meaning of good health and how to pursue it. While it’s fine to take a lazy day and pig out on junk food without brushing their teeth now and again, it’s not something that should become a habit. Parenting is all about teaching good habits and being a good role model. Guide and educate your children into healthy habits and they will continue these habits into adulthood.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.