When it comes to your child’s health and fitness, no one gives better advice than their paediatrician. Their opinion is one you can completely trust. And when their paediatrician is also a parent, that’s really all that you need. We have collected for you the top health secrets shared by paediatrician parents. When applied in daily life, together with your mommy instinct, these secrets will help your little one stay perfectly healthy, energetic and fit!
1. Never miss your child’s vaccination schedule
If this strikes you as an odd thing to say – of course you wouldn’t, right – there are people who think vaccines should be avoided as they are not safe. Way back in 1988, there was a physician called Andrew Wakefield who published a research paper in which he linked the MMR vaccine to autism. But not only was the paper proved to be false, but he was also barred from practicing!
The truth is, vaccines are completely safe and necessary to protect your child from typical childhood diseases like polio, chicken pox, diphtheria and tetanus – a fact supported by the World Health Organization. Make it a point to vaccinate your children as and when recommended by your paediatrician. Read more about why vaccination is important for your child.
2. Google is your friend, not your doctor
Would you ask any random person to diagnose your child’s medical problems? No, right? But a lot of parents expect Google to play doctor. Google is good for a lot of things, but not for treating your medical problems. Although there is a lot of medical information available online, much of it is inaccurate and unverified. Trying to self-diagnose medical symptoms will only result in unnecessary fear, anxiety and stress.
If you are concerned about a health condition, make sure you talk to your paediatrician first. Remember, your doctor can help you only if you see him or her at the right time, not after the condition has worsened.
3. Understand when an injury may need to be stitched
While seeing a cut on your child’s forearm can unnerve any parent, you may not always need to rush to an emergency room. Paediatricians suggest the “three-minute test” to judge the severity of the wound. If your child just had a fall or got wounded, do this: wrap ice in a towel and apply it to the cut for three minutes. The pressure and ice should stop the bleeding if the wound isn’t too severe. If your child is still bleeding, she may need a stitch.
4. Teach them the importance of hand-washing
Children often face the greatest risk of infection from dirty hands. There’s a lot they do all day – playing in the mud and pooping included. Show them how to wash their hands with soap and water after they go to the bathroom, return from playing outside and before they eat. Paediatricians swear this is the easiest way to keep illness away. If you are looking for ways to teach this to your child, try our these creative hand-washing ideas. Psst, you can initially interest your child in handwashing by using scented handwash with yummy, fruity smells.
5. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice
Freshly squeezed juice seems healthy, but in reality it is only healthier than the boxed version. A whole fruit contains essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. The juice extracted from it loses a lot of these nutrients and all of the fibre. In fact, consuming such fruit juice can increase blood sugar levels quickly. According to a study by Harvard School of Public Health, eating whole fruits such as apples, blueberries and grapes significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. So whether they like it or not, make sure your child consumes fruits on a daily basis.
6. Cuddle your baby while feeding them
Do you cuddle your baby while you feed him or her? This one is a secret that many moms can vouch by! Cuddling babies makes them feel loved and secure, and helps them bond with you. Paediatricians believe that babies who are attached to their parents grow up to have a good self-esteem and strong coping skills. With benefits like these, make sure you cuddle as much as you can!
7. Understand the real risk factors for your child
Is your child eating food off the floor, playing on a swing, or throwing a violent tantrum? Well, the fact is that these things are not really as dangerous as some other things. Doctors advise you to be more careful about risks like sharp furniture, open windows and swimming pools. Baby-proofing is certainly one thing you should never take lightly!
8. No need to freak out about colds and fevers
Colds make kids cranky and uncomfortable for 7 to 10 days, but they aren’t usually anything out of the ordinary. And as for fevers, even temperatures between 100 and 104° F may not be dangerous. In fact, they help the body to fight infection as they turn on the immune system. However, if your newborn baby (0 to 3 months) gets fever above 100.4 ° F, visit your paediatrician immediately. If you are not sure whether your reaction to your child’s illness is accurate, take this quiz to find out.
9. Start hygiene training early
It’s never too early to introduce your kids to hygiene. Paediatric parents try and set hygiene standards at home as early as they can – and this includes changing your baby’s diaper without delay, bathing, brushing teeth twice a day, and wearing clean clothes. This makes it evident to your kids that cleanliness is not an option but a necessity.
10. Cut down on the baby talk
Do you talk to your baby in a made-up language commonly known as baby talk? If you think it’s cute to say “wuv” instead of love, know that you are delaying their speech and language development by teaching them the wrong way to speak.
Paediatricians recommend speaking in Parentese instead. Not only do babies respond to it better, it also helps them learn to speak faster.
11. Don’t rush to the doctor or the medicine bottle
Parenting is tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to worry about your kids all the time. They will inevitably fall sick, hurt themselves and give you a hard time in general. Learn to let go and take it all in your stride – just like paediatrician parents do. Getting overly anxious or depending too much on medication is always a bad idea. Remember – this too shall pass.
Oh, before we close, there is yet another important secret that we would like to share. Your child’s paediatrician is certain to agree with this. Mom, please take care of yourself!
Only if the parents are healthy, live a quality life and have a positive frame of mind can the children learn to follow in their footsteps. So, eat fresh, exercise, and stay happy.