Our early years define the kind of person we will grow up to be. According to the World Health Organization’s 2016 study on early childhood education, kids up to eight years of age are highly responsive to change and new information. These are their formative years, and are critical for their cognitive, emotional, social and physical development.
During this time, our children are vulnerable to wrong habits and susceptible to diseases. As parents, it’s our job to make sure our kids don’t miss out on learning their first lessons. They should be at their healthiest when making their earliest memories. Take a cue from the experts and explore these tried and tested healthcare practices to support your kids in their learning years and beyond.
Germs are everywhere, and it’s important to observe good hygiene to avoid the buildup of bacteria and prevent the spread of infection. It keeps them and the people around them safe from diseases. Body maintenance such as regular baths, oral care and grooming are essential. Teach your kids to wash their hands with soap and warm water, from the fingertips up to the wrist. Teaching them to cover coughs and sneezes with their sleeves instead of their hands and not to touch their faces or rub their eyes will help keep them safe from infection.
Diet and nutrition
Eating right prevents the onset of diseases. Smaller bodies are more sensitive to the food they eat and less resistant to the world around them. Boost your child’s immune system by preparing food rich in vitamins C, B and E, which are commonly found in fruits and vegetables. These aid in producing infection-fighting white blood cells and virus-blocking antibodies.
Having trouble incorporating veggies into their diet? It might be because young children are less tolerant to bitter tastes. Start by introducing them to sweeter vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and green peas. As you work toward the greener and leafier veggies, diffuse the bitterness by adding lemon juice or cheese. Make sure to ease your way into this because forcing kids to eat their veggies might make them like it’s a chore, which, in turn, might make them see junk food as a reward.
Sleep is where the body recharges and repairs itself, and the lack thereof hinders growth and development. This lack reduces the body’s ability to fend off illnesses, and might lead to obesity, anxiety, depression, stunted physical growth and problems with their motor skills. Instead of eight hours of sleep required of adults, toddlers need 12 hours while preschoolers need 10. If they don’t like taking naps, pediatricians advise that you put them to bed early instead.
Kids are bursting with energy throughout the day. Physical activities such as sports set the foundation for an active lifestyle that they can carry into adulthood. It also strengthens their bodies, reinforces their immune system, builds confidence and self-esteem and improves sleeping habits.
Up for some family fun? Exercise together! Kids with active parents are more likely to work out. Letting your little ones play with other kids also allows them to use their imagination, creativity and communication skills freely in a collaborative and non-competitive environment.
Keep your little ones protected as they go through their formative years. In case they get a fever, help them recover with Paracetamol (Calpol) which offers fast relief. Its recommended 15mg/kg dosage starts to work on fever and pain within 15 minutes.