Being a parent is not easy, and we’re never really quite prepared for this, I dare say, the most important role in our lives.
It’s only when we have that tiny little being sleeping in our arms when we entirely become aware of all the potential dangers lurking from the shadows.
This idea can be overwhelming, even frightening to many. But it can also motivate us to take action and find ways to prevent these hazards from occurring.
So, what can we do to keep our children safe and healthy?
Get Up to Date with Immunizations
Thanks to the progress of medical science, and regular immunizations, there are numerous illnesses that we’ve eradicated and almost forgotten about but once had severe and fatal consequences to children’s wellbeing.
As a matter of fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccination protects your child from developing 14 diseases that were once common in the US, such as polio, influenza, hepatitis B, measles, whooping cough, mumps, chickenpox, etc.
During the COVID-19 pandemics, the number of children who are getting vaccinated on schedule has dropped. But even in times of crisis, it’s essential to ensure your children are immunized following the plan so that you can protect them from all other diseases.
Make Smart Medical Decisions
It would be best if you also had a plan in place for dealing with medical decisions and payments for your kids.
Both you and your partner should share the responsibility for making such decisions, as well as have access to any vital information related to your children’s medical status: prescription information, insurance details, incident reports, etc.
Also, numerous medical procedures can help you in case any medical emergencies arise.
For example, you can check out cord blood banks that can harvest and store the leftover blood from your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after the cord has been cut.
No reason to worry, though, since babies don’t need this excess blood after their birth.
However, as it is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, cord blood is precious. These stem cells are used to treat more than 80 diseases, and they could help your child or others who are sick, now or in the future.
Teach Your Kids How to Prevent Illness
From the early days on, you should teach your children healthy habits.
There is a good reason why our moms were so persistent about washing our hands frequently, and it’s a habit you want to pass on to your children.
Kids play, they get dirty, and gentle reminders to wash their hands before lunch, after using the bathroom, or after blowing their nose are definitely worth it, as they prevent the spread of germs.
Some other essential habits that can prevent your kids from various diseases are:
- not sharing their toothbrush, combs, or hats with other kids,
- not touching other kids bodily fluids, such as urine, blood, or stool,
- covering their mouth when their sneeze or cough.
Boost Their Immune System
Many parents opt for supplementation and extra doses of vitamins to improve their kids’ immune systems.
Some of them choose to do so without even consulting the pediatrician. However, such supplementation is not recommended for healthy children eating a well-balanced diet as it can adversely affect a child’s wellbeing.
For their immune systems to function well, kids need:
- a healthy, well-balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein,
- a lot of physical activity and exercise,
- regular sleeping pattern, and enough sleep, according to their age,
- learning how to express themselves and manage their stress adequately.
As children learn by modeling your behavior, try to be the example you would like them to see. If, from the early days, your kids observe you spending your free time on the couch, with a cell phone in one hand and a remote in another, don’t be surprised when in a year or two, they do the same.
Good Safety Habits
The world is not a very safe place, and it’s even more dangerous for young children.
But you can reduce many risks if you teach your kids some basic safety rules to follow:
- don’t play near parked or moving vehicles,
- don’t cross the street alone or without permission,
- when in the car, always wear a seatbelt,
- when bicycling, skiing, or skating, always wear a helmet,
- call 911 if any emergency occurs,
- don’t play with other people’s pets without their owners’ permission,
- don’t bother pets when they are with their babies, or when they are eating or sleeping,
- if you’re lost, ask for help,
- be careful with strangers on social media too.
As they grow up, these rules and habits will change.
There will be another set of topics you would like to discuss with them, mostly related to peer pressure, such as dealing with situations where drugs and alcohol are available or when their friends drive too fast or under the influence.
Talk About Sex
Most parents still find it hard to talk about sex with their children, but it’s the best way to provide them with the right information and empower them to make smart and safe decisions.
These discussions should start in elementary school, and some of the basics you would like your kids to know and understand are:
- both you and your partner should be ready and willing to practice any sexual activity,
- talk to your partner about their previous sexual behavior so that you know potential hazards,
- always use protection when practicing sex.
When it comes to the wellbeing of your children, make sure you take a proactive approach and encourage your kids to form healthy and safe habits early in their lives.
I am a freelance writer and a new father. Becoming a father for the first time is not easy, but it is so much happiness that complicated things are handled in the best way because the baby is the fruit of love and he brings great satisfaction. I enjoy writing about health, food, nutrition, and children’s health for other parents. Freelance writing has always been my passion so I combined the two and hopes to be able to share my passion with others!