How to Keep Your Kids Healthy
April was a fantastic month, but it’s not over yet, as we near the end of this month we still have one significant observance in sight, Every Kid Healthy™ Week!
This annual observance shines a spotlight on the great efforts’ schools are making to improve the health and wellness of our kids and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning.
But despite all the efforts schools are making, there is no denying that children in large groups have a knack for spreading germs and viruses that cause illnesses. For this reason, we are sharing five essential health tips to help make sure your kiddos stay healthy.
#5 – Teach them to Wash Their Hands Frequently
Kids are always playing, and as a result, their hands touch a lot of surfaces that could be dirty or harbor bacteria, viruses, and germs that could make them sick.
Teaching your child how to wash their hands properly is a great way to minimize their exposure to harmful organisms.
The CDC’s guidelines for washing hands include the following steps:
- Wet hands thoroughly with water (temperature does not matter).
- Lather with soap and make sure your kids apply soap to the back of their hands as well.
- Instruct them to scrub their hands for 20 seconds or more, make sure to rub the back of their hands, wrists, in between fingers and under the fingernails.
- They should rinse with plenty of water.
- Teach them to always dry their hands thoroughly with a clean towel or an air dryer
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
#4 – Feed Them Healthy Meals and Snacks
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of chronic diseases like:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
Like most other habits, healthy habits are more likely to stay with you if you learn them as a kid. That’s why it’s important to teach your kiddos good habits now.
We understand everyone is busy these days and eating every meal at home is not always possible. And let’s be honest there is no sure way to prevent your kids from eating junk food.
You shouldn’t stress over this and don’t ban your children from eating a burger or pizza when they go out with friends. Instead of prohibiting your kids from eating certain foods, focus on the 80-20 rule. Try your best to make sure your children eat healthy 80% of the time and accept that the other 20% of the time, they will be eating an entire bag of potato chips all by themselves.
#3 – Keep Them Active
Exercise is vital for bone and muscle health, alleviating stress, creating a positive self-image, and preventing diseases later in life.
Most children need a minimum of 1-hour of physical activity per day, sports, dancing, swimming, are just some examples of fun ways for your kids to reach that goal.
However, before you send your kid off to the practice you need to make sure they will be safe, sports injuries are common.
Learn to recognize the signs of a severe injury and when to bring your child to the ER.
Bring your child to our pediatric ER when:
- Your child cannot use or move their arm correctly, or they can’t bear weight on an injured leg
- The limb that was injured looks misshapen, or bone is protruding from the skin
A concussion is a serious brain injury, especially for a child, you should bring your kid to our pediatric ER as soon as possible if they have any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Change in Level of Consciousness (asks repetitive questions, has memory loss)
- Vomiting (more than once)
- Abdominal Pain
- Neck Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
#2 – Teach them to Keep Hydrated
It’s easy for kids to forget to drink enough water when they are playing, and this makes it easy for them to become dehydrated.
A great way to teach your kids to stay hydrated is to have them look at their pee, the clearer it is, the better, show them that if their pee is dark yellow, they should drink a glass of water or two.
Children with mild dehydration can be treated at home, provide them plenty of fluids and fruits and they should recover well. However, for kids who have moderate to severe dehydration, it’s important to get them to the nearest Altus Emergency pediatric center for treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Moderate to Severe Dehydration
- Dry, cracked lips and a dry mouth
- Passes less urine than usual, no urine for eight to 12 hours, or dark-colored urine
- Drowsiness or irritability
- Cold or dry skin
- Low energy levels, seeming very weak or limp
- No tears when crying
- Sunken eyes or sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on baby’s head
#1 – Stay Alert
The best way to keep your children healthy is to stay alert; as parents, we need to pay attention to any changes in behavior, monitor temperatures, and keep a vigilant eye on symptoms if our child is sick.
Knowing when to bring your child to our ER can save their lives.
Your child’s health is important to us, for this reason, Altus Emergency Centers have built state of the art pediatric emergency facilities to ensure your kids are treated in a friendly, calming environment.