Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Keeping Your Kids' Mental & Physical Health in Mind

Keeping Your Kids' Mental & Physical Health in Mind
Being a parent is an incredible responsibility. It can be overwhelming at times and you can constantly second guess your choices and decisions. We all just want to raise good people with values and of course, keeping their health always in mind. As a parent, there will come times when you have to face tough situations. They are, unfortunately inevitable. So how can you best keep your child safe, happy, and healthy throughout their childhood?

Physical Health
Your kids are going contract various colds and illnesses throughout their lives. Unfortunately there's no way around it. Influenza types A and B are the most common. Type A is likely going to be the most draining and sometimes dangerous while type B typically has less severe symptoms and is not as contagious. An annual flu shot can help protect your child against contracting the flu or lessen the symptoms and duration of it. 

If you've got a young one who can't keep any food down, you will want to ensure they've got proper fluids, and that they get rest. Also, when the time is right, try feeding them. The BRAT diet is a good guideline to follow here. If you're unfamiliar, that's: Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast. Have a local physician you can turn to for assurances and advice.

Sometimes cold or influenza symptoms lead to sinus pressure that can give your children terrible headaches—you've probably had to deal with these yourself at one time or another! You can find some tips for sinus headache relief here.

Generally, ensuring your children eat right and stay active will give their bodies necessary immune system strength; but there will be situations where they come down with something no matter what precautions you take, so be prepared beforehand! I always keep different medications in the house, cold packs or heat packs, electrolyte drinks and ginger ale, and plain foods that won't upset the stomach should I need it. It can be hard to run out to the store when you have a sick child! I also make sure my daughter has hand sanitizer in her backpack so she can use it whenever she needs. I try to coach her to at least use it before lunchtime. Sometimes children don't always have the opportunity to wash hands before lunch or snack at school. 

Mental Health and Development 
Screen time is so prevalent these days. Avoid exposing them to too much technology for too long. Did you know high technology use among those too young can actually impact cognitive development? Because of the increasing use of technology (use of cell phones, tablets, and computer and video games in children for entertainment) certain cognitive areas progress exponentially quicker than in prior times, while others are negatively impacted—specifically those areas of development regarding socialization. Some children aren't learning to socialize in ways past generations have because of the prevalence of technology. Children need to have time to play with each other and develop those communication and social skills. 

You don't necessarily have to restrict all technology from your children, but if they have a tablet or video game system, television, or the internet, you need to be limiting daily usage to an hour or less a day. Of course it is nice to have during travel or when you need to get some work done in terms of having uninterrupted time, but if that is a frequent occurrence in your home, it could be at the cost of limiting how well your child is able to conduct themselves socially around others.

And that isn't even to mention what too much screen time can do to children physically. Watching too much TV, playing too many video games, or spending too much time on the internet limits physicality, weakening the immune system and leaving your children more susceptible to illness over time. It's all related! 

Of course technology certainly isn't all bad! It's hard to hate technology considering the advancements it's made in medicine. There have been amazing developments in the use of technology for children over the years that can help with diseases, disorders, and disabilities. For example, hearing amplifiers in Kittery can help children born with hearing loss have the ability to hear with amplification up to the normal range of hearing. FM systems in classrooms can also help children with hearing loss hear the teacher more clearly and decrease background noise. Wheelchairs have come a long way and lots of availability for personalization, too. There are sensory aids, and insulin pumps, and so many other advancements technology has made possible! 

Through technology, more healthy diets can be identified, and more effective daily activities lined out. Also, trends in human development are regularly monitored through medical facilities. Don't let your child use too much technology in their personal lives, but do keep an ear out concerning new medical breakthroughs that may be of benefit to your children.

To help your child be best prepared for whatever may meet them in the near future, you want to ensure they are as healthy as possible mentally and physically, in their sensitive years at home to become those wonderful people you want them to be!

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