Promoting health in families and children

It’s time to take charge of your health! Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them. Regular checkups are Important for family health and and wellness.

Why are Check-Ups Important?

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

Helping families be safer, healthier and stronger

Your child’s health includes physical, mental and social well-being. Most parents know the basics of keeping children healthy, like offering them healthy foods, making sure they get enough sleep and exercise and insuring their safety.

It is also important for children to get regular checkups with their health care provider. These visits are a chance to check your child’s development. They are also a good time to catch or prevent problems.

Other than checkups, school-age children should be seen for

  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Sleep problems or change in behavior
  • Fever higher than 102
  • Rashes or skin infections
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Breathing problems

 To give your child a head start on lifelong fitness, consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities. Chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Consider other classic tips from children’s health experts, such as encouraging activity — not exercise — and setting a good example yourself.

You can also promote children’s health by encouraging your child to eat a variety of healthy foods and control portion sizes. Learn which nutrients are necessary, in what amounts and how the guidelines change as a child grows older.

 Promoting healthy nutrition at home

For infants and young children:

  • breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life;
  • continuously breastfed until 2 years and beyond, complemented with a variety of adequate, safe and nutritient dense complementary foods;
  • avoid the use of added sugars and starches when feeding formula;
  • accept the child’s ability to regulate energy intake rather than feeding until the plate is empty;
  • Assure the appropriate micronutrient intake needed to promote optimal linear growth.

 Suggestions for the promotion of physical activity at home

  • reduce non-active time (e.g. television viewing, computer);
  • encourage safe walking/bicycling to school and to other social activities;
  • make physical activity part of the family’s daily routine such as designating time for family walks or playing active games together;
  • ensure that the activity is age appropriate and provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads, and knee pads

 For children and adolescents:

  • provide healthy breakfast before each school day;
  • serve healthy school snacks to children (whole-grain, vegetables, fruits);
  • promote intake of fruits and vegetables;
  • restrict intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (e.g. packaged snacks);
  • restrict intake of sugars-sweetened soft drinks;
  • ensure opportunity for family meals;
  • limit exposure to marketing practices (e.g. limit television-viewing);
  • teach children to resist temptation and marketing strategies;
  • Provide information and skills to make healthy food choices.

The information contained on this Website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your health care provider. There may be variations in treatment that your health care provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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