Our children are our biggest blessing and greatest responsibility. While they are growing up, we have to see to their education, their ability to interact socially and most importantly, their health. That’s not always easy to do.
Cardiovascular Health: There are three things to keep in mind here. Diet and exercise are the most commonly thought of, and they are important. Getting our children away from the computer and outside playing is necessary and so is watching the salt and fat in their food.
One other thing needs to be done. Some children have hidden heart problems, usually congenital in nature. Some seemingly healthy kids have dropped dead while playing sports. There are tests that can check for this problem, and help you avoid a tragic outcome.
Nervous System: Children who are healthy don’t usually have problems with the nervous system. However, there are still things that parents can do to avoid dangers. Helmets are a must for any active sport. Concussions are a big danger for kids. Children who play contact sports may need the imPACT test to see if there are any problems.
We should also watch how much caffeine our children consume. Caffeine can cause blurry vision, mood alteration, sleep disruption and other difficulties.
Skin: By now we know that kids need sunblock when outside. It should be applied a half hour before going out and at least every two hours they are outside. There are other things that need watched as well.
Acne is one of the biggest banes of teenagers and young adults. Some teens are scarred for life because of this. There are things that can be done, and if the case is severe it is best to have the doctor treat it. Some over-the-counter products may not be useful for all cases.
Moles are another area that need attention. While skin cancer is still rare in children, the rates are rising by 2% a year. If a mole changes appearance, it is a good idea to have your pediatrician look at it.
Urological: The urinary tract isn’t always something a parent thinks of as regards their children…except when potty training. That doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Children should be encouraged to urinate before bedtime and to hold off on fluids in the evening. This can help bed wetting in older kids.
Boys should wear a cup to protect themselves in sports. Not doing so could damage delicate tissue. Girls should be taught to wipe from the front to the back to prevent infections.
Vision: Eye exams are important for children. Those who have vision problems may require exams every six months. We should also watch how much screen time they have. With cell phones, computers and video games the possibility of visual impairment rises.
Children need to have the same eye protection out in the sun as adults. Proper sunglasses with UV block can help prevent eye problems when they are older.