Whether you’re trying to get through flu season unscathed, or your little ones have a habit of getting sick one after the other, making sure your children are healthy can be a daunting task. Keep in mind that “healthy” doesn’t just mean “not sick.” You need to keep in mind many other aspects of your child’s health outside of sore throats and stuffy noses. And while keeping your kids fighting fit isn’t the simplest of goals, it also shouldn’t be all that difficult. Here are a few foolproof ways to make sure your children are at their healthiest all year long.
Think about the teeth
Oral hygiene is incredibly important for a child’s overall health in more ways than you might think. In fact, many dental experts view oral health as a great way to gain insight into a person’s overall well-being, regardless of their age. How well your children take care of their mouth, teeth, and gums can have some serious impacts on the rest of their health as well. That’s why it’s important to impart good oral care tips to your children when they’re young.
Cavities aren’t the only concern. Medical research has connected several conditions to poor oral health, including several cardiovascular disorders. So making sure your children take care of their pearly whites has more benefits than whiter teeth and a nicer smile. It’s also possible that several eating disorders, difficulty chewing, and various types of arthritis are connected to oral negligence, but the jury is still out on those.
If you’re not sure how to help your children take care of their oral health, it’s probably time to reach out to a pediatric dentist. From proper brushing techniques to regular cleanings, a good dentist is an invaluable resource. While it may be true that nobody enjoys visiting the dentist, it’s vital that your kids learn about the importance of their oral hygiene at an early age to save them from greater troubles down the road.
Quick on their feet
Another school year is starting, your kids are begging for the newest sneakers they saw online, and your youngest just outgrew another pair. Many parents take a mostly hands-off approach to shoes-shopping for the young ones, but it’s high time to pay closer attention to what your children are wearing. After all, whether they’re walking to school or running around the playground during recess, your kids are probably on their feet a lot, and an ill-fitting shoe can do much more harm than good.
Shoe choices can affect your child’s foot development and growth, and not always in a positive way. If your children aren’t wearing appropriate sizes that leave room for the occasional growth spurt, or if the materials of the shoes are overly stiff and inflexible, it can stunt foot development and cause deformity and mobility issues. Making your child wear shoes they have outgrown may also develop a condition called hammer toe. If this condition gets severe or if the affected toe is no longer flexible, your child may need hammer toe surgery to straighten his toe joint. If buying new shoes more frequently is out of the question, consider having your child spend more time barefoot, especially around the house, because a barefoot environment promotes healthier foot development.
If your child is experiencing chronic foot pain and aches or restricted movement, it’s in your best interest to reach out to a qualified podiatrist. They’ll be able to take a closer look at your child’s feet and ankles to determine a root cause of their symptoms as well as develop a plan of action for addressing them, be it physical therapy or corrective footwear.
A good night’s sleep
It’s often difficult to gauge whether or not your child is getting enough sleep each night. After all, they’re energetic throughout the days, and it seems like they sleep just fine throughout the night, so what could possibly be wrong? As a good rule of thumb, as long as they’re getting the correct amount of sleep for their age group, chances are they’re doing just fine. However, not all sleep disorders are as visible as you’d expect, and some don’t have predictable outward symptoms at all.
Common pediatric sleep disorder symptoms include night terrors, sleep apnea, and sleepwalking. While night terrors and sleepwalking are pretty visible signs of an underlying sleep disorder, even something as seemingly benign as bedwetting or daytime sleepiness can be a sign of something more serious. If your child is complaining about difficult nights or trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s important to take it seriously and determine whether or not it’s the result of a sleep disorder.
A sleep disorders institute may be your best shot at determining what is affecting your child’s rest. It’s crucial to address these symptoms before they get too serious, because a lack of sleep can cause behavioral problems, poor socialization, and other health issues. A sleep disorders institute will be able to determine whether or not there’s a deeper cause to your child’s sleeping difficulties and develop a proper treatment program to address it. If your child doesn’t feel well-rested, it’ll start to affect many other aspects of life, from grades to friendships, which can make childhood unfairly difficult.
A hairy situation
It seems to happen at least once every single school year: A parent unknowingly sends a child to school with a bad case of lice and soon enough, everyone in your kid’s grade is dealing with the aftermath of an outbreak. Even worse, if it isn’t noticed before your child returns home, it could easily spread to your entire family. Sounds like a bit of a nightmare, doesn’t it? That’s why it’s necessary for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of lice and know how to treat it.
The most common symptom shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you notice your child furiously itching the scalp, it’s time to take a closer look. This is because the lice tend to bite at the scalp, which causes an allergic reaction, hence the itching. However, the severe itchiness isn’t the only symptom of lice. A tickling feeling, reddish spots and sores, bumps, or the appearance of eggs are all indicators that your child has lice.
Fortunately, lice is one condition that doesn’t often require the intervention of a specialist. Often, a quality lice removal solution, such as a medicated spray or a specialized lice shampoo, will be enough to treat the outbreak. However, if symptoms last too long, or if you aren’t seeing relief from an over-the-counter remedy, you may want to consider reaching out to your primary care physician to discuss what else you can do.
Doing your best
Your child’s health is probably your biggest concern on a daily basis. After all, it’s your job as a parent to make sure your children are growing properly and feeling their best while they do it. This also requires spending quality times with your children. In fact, children playing and singing is wonderful sight.
Oftentimes, keeping children healthy can seem like an uphill battle. One day, they have a runny nose, and the next they’re running a fever. However, keeping your child healthy shouldn’t feel like an impossible task. As long as you know what you should be looking out for and are attending regular pediatrician and dentist appointments, you’re on the right track to making sure your kid has a healthy, happy childhood.