Contribution by Dr.Saloni Lalit Pahwa (MBBS, DCH gold medalist)
All parents visit their doctors with a sick child, however it is also important for Paediatricians to see your child when healthy. A routine child care visit, also known as a well-child visit, is an exam that checks the basic health and development of a child.
Routine check ups are the best way to prevent sickness and keep a child healthy. Between visits, however, there is plenty that can be done to ensure that each child gets through the exam in great health. Here are some simple ways to keep a young child develop to their full potential.
A healthy diet is often underrated, but as a paediatrician I cannot stress enough on how important it is. The key to a good diet is a variety and patience. It is important to allow children to explore a variety of foods from a young age, develop a taste for new foods and have a playful, stress free meal time.
Keep sugar as low as possible. It is a common misconception that by removing candy and soda, sugar can be eliminated. But there are some sneakier sugary foods that children may consume daily. Fruit juice is the main offender, containing as much sugar as some sodas and not much nutritional value. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best.
Activity and Exercise
No, you do not have to take your child to the gym to sweat it out. Simply ensure that they have plenty of opportunity to play and crawl, walk, and eventually run around. This will aid the development of motor skills and enhance physical ability.
Recess and gym class are routine child care and school activities and are good opportunities for young children to exercise. This may not be enough. Find ways to keep children active at home. Take them to the local park and allow sufficient time to play and explore. This will get them the right amount of exercise for the day.
Stimulate the Brain
There are countless ways to ensure that a child’s memory is being stimulated, and this is essential for growth. The best way to do this is by spending time with the child! Talking to them using normal vocabulary, picture cards,puppets and role play, is a great way to help a child’s brain grow. Reading, and just having plenty of books around the child from the time they’re born, is proven to be great for a young mind.
Questions and Concerns
It is important to find a pediatrician who you can trust and has the time to listen to your questions and concerns. Not even the most experienced parent is perfect, so do not be afraid to address any concerns with your doctor.
Parenting can be stressful and one often overthinks if enough is being done. Rising happy and healthy kids is no rocket science. A good diet, exercise and providing a stimulating environment in these easy way will benefit your child immensely.
Dr.Saloni Lalit Pahwa has worked as a Junior consultant at Healthcare for Children, Bandra (w), and Bai Jerbai Wadia hospital for children, Mumbai. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org