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Keep your child well

Nine Ways To Keep Your Child Well

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A safe Environment For Learning. Your little one is learning to walk, climb and run! Your child is now getting more and more active, using his senses and newfound mobility to experience the world around him.

15/10/2015 - 10:08

A safe Environment For Learning
Your little one is learning to walk, climb and run! Your child is now getting more and more active, using his senses and newfound mobility to experience the world around him. He is naturally curious about everything, and his fearless explorations will often lead him into less child-friendly areas of your home.

Encourage his curiosity, but keep him safe and healthy! Here are a few points to help child-proof your home, to keep your child safe:

Play is important child's work.
Play, by the way, is not an indulgence. It is an activity that allows much to happen that can have an influence on the child's developing mind. As children play, they are expressing themselves and also learning to cope with frustrations. Thus, during play, we see exchanges of all sorts of kiddy behaviour. Habits, skills and attitudes can be formed during the course of this interaction that may last a lifetime. Children do not have to be taught how to play. They can imagine and create the simplest of toys with, for example, a matchstick box for a car and arms spread in flight for an airplane. Even though play is important to all of us, it is especially meaningful to children. They are actually hard at work when they play. However, you’ll want to keep your child safe during playtime.

•   Consider all the poisons, power outlets, sharp edges and possible hazards in your home and garden that your child can reach and interact with.
•   Provide covers for power outlets. Keep wires and cables neatly stored.
•   Don't leave potentially dangerous objects (anything sharp or that may be swallowed) within reach.
•   Teach your child about doors, ovens, floor fans and other potential hazards. Show him how they work and emphasize that they are off-limits.
•   If your home has a staircase, place the appropriate barriers until your child can manage the stairs unattended.
•   Use non-toxic cleansers and paints.
•   Empty dust and trash bins frequently; you don’t want your child exploring there.
•   Make sure you clean frequently and regularly. Your toddler will want to touch everything and often put things into his mouth to taste.
•   Maintain a smoke-free home. Second-hand smoke increases the risk of ear and chest infections.
•   Preschoolers should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise or activity daily. This can be broken up into 30 minutes of play each time.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you prepare, children and germs will always find a way to meet. But don't worry; following good hygiene and healthy eating habits will go a long way to helping you child stay at his best!

Teach your child proper hand-washing.
Wash for at least 20 seconds using warm water and soap, and explain that you are washing away germs that can make him sick. Encourage washing hands before every meal, after using the toilet, and after playing outdoors or with pets. This will help keep your child safe from unwanted infections.

Give him the right foods to keep him healthy and protected.
When your child's heart beats faster due to exercise, it becomes stronger because it is the biggest muscle. And the better you work a muscle, the stronger it becomes.

Active Children Become Healthy Adults
Your child has more energy packed away in that little body than you realize. In fact, children are naturally active and can't sit still for long. If you can start and keep them active in their formative years, it can help form a lifetime of active living. For what is wealth without health?

What are the benefits of exercise?
Children instinctively like to play, run, skip and jump around. To them, that is exercise. The more the physical activity, the better their motor skills will develop. But all that can change when we let our children sit too long in front of the TV.

Did you know that an active child tends to:
•   Develop a leaner body with stronger bones and muscles
•   Maintain a healthy weight
•   Sleep better
•   Avoid obesity related diseases like cardiovascular disease later in adult life
•   If your home has a staircase, place the appropriate barriers until your child can manage the stairs unattended.
•   Have better self-confidence
•   Be more alert

How long should your child exercise?
•   Toddlers should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or activity daily. This can be broken up into 15 minutes of play each time
•   Preschoolers should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise or activity daily. This can be broken up into 30 minutes of play each time

What kind of exercise or activity should your child be doing?
Each child develops at his or her own pace. So it's important to identify what your child can or cannot do and what skills are right for his or her age.

Generally, young children can walk, run, jump around, climb, kick and even throw a ball. Identifying their ability will help you plan their activity and play games that are appropriate for their age.

How to cultivate the habit to exercise?
The best way to get your child to enjoy more exercise is to spend some time playing with them.

•   Roll a ball around for your child to catch.
•   Switch off the substituted "babysitter". Many parents are guilty of using the TV as a substitute babysitter to distract their children. Remember that this will become habit forming.
•   Put them together with other children their age. Children naturally play together.
•   Let them play with "dirt". Create a sandbox and fill it with sand. You will be surprised at how much time your child can spend in it. Make sure this activity is supervised as children have a tendency to put sand into their mouths.
•   Water! Children who can sit up love to play in an inflatable pool. Fill the water to no more than the height of your fist. Drop in some of your child's favourite toys and you'll have a child delightfully splashing around. Supervise and play with him or her as water can be dangerous for any child that has not learnt how to swim!

You are also the best role model for you child. When you show your child you enjoy exercise, it is more likely your child will love it too.

Did you know?
When your child's heart beats faster due to exercise, it becomes stronger because it is the biggest muscle. And the better you work a muscle, the stronger it becomes.

9 Ways To Keep Your Child Well
As you and your child grow together, the following easy precautions will soon become second-nature to you:

1.   Get the right nutrition: Good nutrition is crucial in ensuring your child grows up healthy. Plan his baby food with a balanced, varied diet that includes food such as fruits, vegetables, baby cereal as well as probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut.

2.   Timely Vaccination: Take note of your child’s vaccinations and checkups schedules. If it helps, make a note or place a reminder on your hand-phone or your calendar diary

3.   Keeping hands clean: To be effective, wash your hand thoroughly in running water with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you can, make sure that everyone cleans their hands prior to touching, feeding, or holding him.

4.   Avoid unnecessary exposure to sickness: Do not hesitate to avoid sick people. To handle your child or his toys. When going out, choose the less crowded and more ventilated space.

5.   Best to use sanitizer: When you are not able to wash your hands, use alcohol-based sanitizers. Keep in mind to sanitize your hands after using ATMs, petrol pumps, escalator handrails, shopping carts, and after signing credit card slips. However, hand sanitizers are not recommended for the little one.

6.   Having disinfectant wipes: When or if your child’s toys, pacifier, or feeding bottle have fallen down on the floor, wipe the object off. In restaurants you can use wipes to clean the table or high chair before eating.

7.   Try to avoid smoky places: The fact is a smoker breathes in only 15% from a cigarette- the residual 85% become second-hand smoke. If you see someone smoking, you should just leave the place, as it is not an advisable exposure for your child.

8.   Cover up the surfaces: Make sure to put changing pad, coverlet, or towel between your child and a public exterior such as high chairs or changing table. Wrap it up after used to avoid it from contaminating your child’s other items. If you need to reuse the pad before washing, please remember which side stays next to your child.

9.   Protect from direct sunlight: Between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, the sun will be most intense. Consider dressing your child in lightweight long sleeve and pants, and if possible put on a large-brimmed hat for him.

Reading is good for your child’s brain!
Children are simply fascinated by sound. That’s why even at a few months old, your child loves to look at pictures and listen to your voice. By watching and listening to you, your child is actually learning how to communicate. So when you open a picture book, point at the pictures and read loudly and animatedly while running your fingers across each word.

You’ve begun to teach your child to read. And reading stimulates your child’s brain. The more you stimulate, the faster he or she learns.

How to nurture your child’s curiosity for reading?
If we could do for reading what playgrounds do for children, we would have a healthy and knowledgeable child. So make reading FUN and ENJOYABLE; like a playground for the mind.

Here are some suggestions:

•   Read animatedly. The more fun and expressions your child experiences from your reading will leave a good impression that reading is fun and something to look forward to. This also holds their attention longer.
•   Take turns. Parents should take turns to read every day because your child will enjoy that.
•   Start simple. Use one word at a time and keep the word simple. Then add on to the word slowly. Repeat the word and point to the picture for faster word association.
•   Add variety. Read different stories. By doing this you will also learn what your child likes.
•   Repeat the story. Be prepared to read the same story a couple of times. You may get bored but if your child has a favourite, don’t discourage his or her interest.
•   Make it a habit. Set aside some time in the evening or before your child sleeps, to read him or her a story.
•   Reduce TV time. Instead of switching on the TV to distract your child, place a book in front of him or her.
•   Explore. For slightly older children, take them to a bookstore or library where they can enjoy the different atmosphere that these places have to offer.
•   Important! Learn what your child likes. Find out what kind of stories appeals to your child and read it to him or her.

Did you know?
Who is your child’s first teacher? Well, it is you!

Creative Tip
As your child develops and begins to recognize things, print out a photo of your child and write his or her name under it. Spell and say the name! Do this often and before you know it, the first thing your child can read will be his or her very own name!

For parents with older children
If you are looking at this article for the first time and you already have older children, don’t worry. It’s never to late to inculcate this good habit as your child is still at a very curious age and teachable stage.

But more importantly, remember, reading is also a very good way of spending quality time with your little one. Little doses of reading no matter when you start go a long way. Enjoy it!

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