Instill Habits in Your Children to Keep them Healthy in 2020
As a parent, it is your goal to strive to ensure that your child is healthy throughout the entire year. However, it can be quite difficult to make sure your child never gets sick or avoids all germs and illnesses. After all, even though going to school lets them grow cognitively, develop important social skills, and grow individually, schools are also full of countless germs and dangers to your child’s health.
Because your child is frequently in contact with germs and illnesses, you must take a proactive approach in keeping them healthy throughout 2020. There are countless things you can do to prepare your entire family for the new year by instilling healthy habits in the lives of your children.
While the only thing that changes at the beginning of the year is the date, it is a great time to proverbially start over. Take the beginning of 2020 as a chance to build routines and make lifestyle changes in order to keep your child healthy throughout the entire year.
Tots N Teens Pediatrics is here to help you be the best parent possible, aiding you in many ways to keep your children and family healthy throughout 2020. Today, we have provided you with some tips to help you in the new year.
Make a Habit of Handwashing
As we mentioned earlier, your child comes in contact with a plethora of germs and illnesses when they go to school. While it’s virtually impossible to avoid coming in contact with germs, there are ways you can protect your children from them. Handwashing with soap is one of the greatest ways to keep your child healthy all year.
Diarrheal diseases and pneumonia kill roughly 1.8 million children under the age of five each year. Other diseases such as salmonella, E. coli, and the flu are all illnesses that are commonly spread by hand-to-hand contact. Thoroughly washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the development of these diseases.
Teach your children the proper handwashing techniques. Explain to them the importance of washing their hands. Hopefully, they will build strong handwashing habits.
Stay Up to Date on Vaccinations
Countless diseases throughout the world threaten the lives of children. However, thanks to vaccines, many of these illnesses have been eliminated or drastically reduced. There are plenty of vaccine-preventable diseases that have not been eradicated yet, which could very much threaten the lives of your children. The flu is an extremely common disease that has the potential to be life-threatening. Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing the spread of infectious diseases. They are one of the best ways to ensure that your child remains healthy not only throughout the year but in their whole life.
Establish Healthy Sleeping Habits
No matter who you are, your body must always rest and recover. It can only take so much. Children, in particular, can only handle so much activity and stress, which is why they require more hours of sleep than adults. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages 5-12 should get between 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.
Quality sleep has a direct impact on how your child behaves, their eating habits, their mental health, and their academic performance. Most importantly, without the appropriate amount of sleep, your child’s body does not have the focus or energy to properly fight off infections or diseases.
You can improve their sleeping habits by:
- Limiting screen time
- Creating a set sleep routine
- Creating a positive sleep environment for your child
- Making sure they are never too busy and have plenty of downtime
- Ensuring they are not too stressed
Keep an Eye Out for Your Child’s Mental Health
As a parent, your child’s entire health should be a priority for you, including their mental health. Far too often do people write off children’s mental health as irrelevant. However, they face plenty of stressors throughout their daily lives. From homework and tests to social pressures and bullying, they constantly face stressful situations every day. If their mental health begins to decline due to stress, anxiety, or depression, so too will their physical health.
Be sure to always communicate with your child. Listen to what they have to say and be empathetic. Validate your child’s emotions. Do what you can to eliminate or reduce any stressors from your child’s life.
Establish Healthy Eating Habits
Arguably the easiest and most effective way to keep your child healthy is by ensuring that they have a balanced and healthy diet. Throughout the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to simply feed your child the quickest and easiest meal possible. However, this often means feeding them fast food or meals high in sugar and saturated fats. While it may seem like a hassle to find the time to focus on establishing healthy eating habits, it can save you time and money in the long run. Your child will be healthier, which means they won’t need to visit their doctor near as often.
To create healthy eating habits, you can:
- Start each morning with a brain-boosting breakfast
- Pack your child’s lunch
- Prepare healthy afterschool snacks
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Avoid fast food and foods with saturated fats
- Prepare family dinners
There are countless ways you can make sure your child establishes healthy eating habits early in their life, which they can take with them throughout their entire lives.
The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to begin establishing behaviors and habits in your children to keep them healthy year-round. Most young children are not old enough to have established habits yet, so now would be the perfect time to instill these habits in your children. You should always involve your children in any changes. Do not make it seem as though they are being forced to do something. If you are interested in learning more ways to keep your child healthy in 2020, contact Tots N Teens Pediatrics today.