Daily Tips for Maintaining your Childs Health

Keeping children healthy is a daily concern for parents today. We bandage cuts and kiss away bruises wondering if we’ve done all we can to keep them well. We strive to give them the best start down life’s road and there are more than a few things to be aware of while paving the way. Parents who educate themselves about their children’s health, and how to avoid illness in the first place, will be able to give their family a head start to healthier lifestyles.

The focus in American schools has shifted towards programs that emphasize learning lessons more than physical fitness. While education is the business of schools, statistic show that children are receiving less and less time to play. A in South Carolina found preschool children spent only around 7.7 minutes of each hour engaged in vigorous activity throughout a four hour day. In our nation’s highschools, P.E courses are hard to find, and seem to be going extinct. The benefits that come from exercising are important ones. They include higher self-esteem, fewer absences, less stress, more confidence, and even disease prevention. Schools are falling short on children’s physical fitness, so the responsibly returns to the parents. Get your children MOVING! We are powerful role models when it comes to the fitness habits of our children, and any activity is better than sitting still. Keep in mind that experts recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise for children each day, so do things with them, like taking walks together or playing soccer in the yard. Just get them out, and get them going. Check the web for help. The CDC has developed an exercise website, B A M!Body and Mind. The site was designed with feedback from children across America and it offers games, quizzes, stories and other fitness related fun for children.

Also pay close attention to their diet. Along with rising obesity rates, doctors are noticing a number of nutritional deficiencies in children as well. Some children now have lowered levels of key nutrients like Zinc, Iron and Vitamin B. This is not surprising when The Children’s Defense Fund,an organization which nationally monitors the state of children’s physical and mental health has found that only 22% of children age 9-12 receive the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits or vegetables in their diet. We can reverse this trend by offering low-sugar alternatives to soda and serving nutritious meals in the place of fast, convenient, foods. Doing this will increase their energy and give children a foundation of healthy eating habits that will keep them well now, and prevent illnesses like heart disease and diabetes in their future.

A final word about children’s health involves having insurance for them. Pediatricians are a valuable resource for parents, yet some children in this country have little opportunity to see one. Of the over 46 million Americans without insurance, 1 in 9 is a child. Uninsured children are 5 times more likely to have unmet health needs and they rarely see a primary care physician. For parents who cannot afford coverage, many states have programs that provide free child health care for families who qualify. These plans normally cover things like well child check-ups, prescription coverage, and dental care for those who qualify, Each state’s income guidelines will vary, so check with your local Department of Job and Family Services for more details. Also, investigate neighborhood clinics if you area parent looking to get health care for your hard earned dollar. These facilities offer services at a reduced rate based upon family income. Research has shown that doctor visits are important to a child’s overall health and development. They supply parents with a place to voice concerns, and allow doctors to spot potential issues early.

The steps of getting children moving, giving them better food and visiting their doctor on a regular basis allows parents to know that they ARE doing all that they can to help their children live longer and healthier lives.