Pediatrics is the area of medicine focused on the health of children until the age of 18. That means your local pediatrician cares deeply about health care for children. So in caring about your child’s health, we want to give you helpful reminders that’ll keep them healthier and stronger with each year.
1. Teeth cleaning
If you’re a new mother, you probably wonder when the right time is to start taking care of your child’s teeth. As soon as the first tooth comes in, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist. Dental care is very important. If not taken care of, it can lead to your child having poor eating habits and loss of sleep due to pain. Be sure to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes, and take them to the dentist twice a year.
It’s important to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Cavities happen due to sugar. It can come from drinking juice, formula, and even breast milk. You can limit the sugar your infant gets by giving them water before you put them to bed. Doing this will help keep your child cavity-free.
2. Lyme disease prevention
When a tick is attached to you or your child for 36 hours, it can transmit Lyme disease. Knowing how to prevent that is not only good health care for children, it’s good medical care for the whole family. When you discover a tick has bitten you or your child, remove it with forceps immediately. If a part of the tick remains embedded in the skin, do not try to scratch it out, and instead apply an antibiotic.
Once you’ve done that, continue to monitor the area for any changes. You can expect there to be a rash where the bite occurred in the first few days. If the rash goes away after one to two days, that means your child didn’t get Lyme disease. But if the rash continues to get bigger or expands beyond five centimeters, see your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible.
Other signs to pay attention to are flu-like symptoms, facial paralysis on one side of the face, and any swelling of any joints.
3. Limit screen time
We’re glued to our screens more and more with each day. But for your young child, this isn’t a good habit for them to start early. The American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, recommends you keep your child from having any screen time if they’re less than a year old. For children older than two years of age, you should limit them to only one hour of screen time a day.
Too much screen time can potentially lead to developmental delays. It can also potentially cause obesity. For every hour of screen time per week your child has, it can cause their BMI to increase. As pediatricians, we hope to see your child become as smart as they can possibly be. So to help your child’s development, be sure to make most of their learning occur through play not involving screens. Doing this will enhance their creative thinking and have them ready to succeed in school when it’s time for them to start.
It’s not always easy to keep your child healthy, but having the right knowledge helps. Following these reminders will not only help your child be healthier, but it’ll help you and your family be healthier too.