Childhood health is crucial to their mental and physical development. It’s easy for parents or guardians to be overwhelmed while looking out for their kids’ well-being. Luckily, there are just five significant areas to focus on to ensure proper growth.
Your child’s health can have long-term effects on their success. Physiological disturbances in the developmental years can alter adolescent learning, behavior and physical abilities. From conception to age 5, humans develop their biological responses, which interact with genetic predispositions.
It is vital to your little one’s constructive growth to nourish these years with adequate hygiene, diet, physical activity, emotional development and sleep. Focusing on these areas of development can allow you to keep your kids healthy.
It may seem unnecessary to have your child brush and floss their baby teeth twice a day, knowing they will soon fall out. However, dental hygiene is about more than teeth. Our mouths are full of billions of bacteria, which affect our entire body.
Our mouths’ microbiome contains the good bacteria that fight illnesses before they enter the rest of our body. Harmful bacteria also exists and can cause diseases if left to bloom. When we brush our teeth twice daily and floss regularly, we aid in a healthy bacterial balance.
Support healthy oral hygiene in your child by talking to them about the importance of brushing their teeth. You can also purchase colorful floss picks and sweet flavored toothpaste to encourage them to engage in routine oral care. Also, ensure that your little one visits the dentist twice a year for maintenance and cleanings.
We all know that kids need calcium for healthy bones and vegetables for proper growth. Macro and micronutrients can also aid in the development of a child’s memory, sensory systems, learning, processing, attention, impulses and mood, and can reduce the risk for adolescent diseases.
There are various nutrients parents should be mindful of when feeding their family. Proteins, zinc, polyunsaturated fatty acids, iron, folate, iodine, choline, and vitamins A, D, B6, B12 positively affect a child’s health. Look for foods that include these nutrients when crafting meals.
There are many different messages in the media when it comes to carbohydrates. Carbs are necessary for adequate childhood growth, but it comes down to the variety of nutrients you provide. Other than potatoes, all carbs derived from vegetables are healthy, whereas sugar, white flour and potato carbs are unhealthy.
All nutrients are beneficial in moderation. When building a plate, try to stick to the necessary vitamins and minerals and healthy carbs.
Children ages 2 and up need to engage in 60 minutes of exercise a day. Because kids’ bones are still developing, it is essential to support that growth with strong surrounding muscles. The more moderately intense play they engage in, the stronger they will be.
Physical activity also helps improve heart and emotional health. Getting your blood pumping helps to strengthen your natural circulation and positively alter your mood. Ensure that your child gets the recommended amounts of exercise daily to support their growth and well-being.
Mental health is a vital element to a kid’s general development and happiness. When their emotional self is supported and nurtured, they can succeed in school, relationships and society.
Some 15 million children and teens are diagnosed with mental health disorders. This is a significant number of global youth who are generally uninformed about their diagnosis until adult life. You can challenge this education barrier by destigmatizing mental health from a young age.
It can be challenging to teach little ones about emotions, especially with their limited awareness. They experience different feelings throughout their developmental process. Invite some perception of these emotions by utilizing identification charts. This encourages your child to vocalize their feelings when their frontal cortex becomes clouded.
You may also educate yourself on the warning signs of various mental health conditions in children. This will allow you to address their needs early on so they feel supported. You can also utilize therapy and peer-assisted learning programs to improve their mental health further.
Kids between the ages of 3 and 7 who get inadequate amounts of sleep suffer from adverse health effects. These children have a higher risk for attention, emotion and relationship issues. As they get older, their neurobehavioral functions can decrease, causing extensive problems.
In children of all ages, poor sleep can lead to chronic disease development and obesity. To ensure that your child receives appropriate amounts of sleep, familiarize yourself with the recommended hours. To support healthy mental and physical functions, kids should sleep:
- 12 to 16 hours as infants (including naps).
- 11 to 14 hours as toddlers (including naps).
- 10 to 13 hours as preschoolers (including naps).
- 9 to 12 hours as grade school students.
- 8 to 10 hours as teenagers and on.
Every Child Is Different
Remember that not every child is the same. Some children need more aid in their health while others struggle to reach certain milestones. Attempt to integrate these five elements into their daily routines, and always consult a pediatrician when your child experiences adverse health effects.