Children grow so quickly and so do their health needs. Medibank Chief Medical Officer, Dr Linda Swan gives us her tips on how to look after your child’s health and wellbeing as they grow.
Listen to Linda on Kinderling Conversation:
Understand the common lurgies
Doctors regularly see the common cold, flu, upset tummies, gastro, rashes, asthma and allergies in young children. It’s always concerning when your child is sick, but most of these illnesses are not serious.
If you’re worried, 24-hour free helplines are a good place to start. They can help you decide if you do need to take your little one to get medical care.
Find a good GP
Develop a good relationship with your family general practitioner. Having a trustworthy GP who knows your child when they’re healthy and also when they’re sick will reassure you if alarmed.
Trust your parenting instinct
As a parent, you know your child and what is normal. If they’re excessively sleepy, confused, unhappy, or not behaving normally, then that can be a concern. When accompanied by a fever, an aggressive rash, wheezing, vomiting or an inability to hold down fluids with a high temperature, seek immediate medical care.
Maintain early health checks
Preventative checks often happen from birth and are done in the hospital from day one. These can be as simple as a vision check with a light shone in your baby’s eyes. When taking your child for immunisations, other little checks will be done at the same time to see that your baby is developing normally. This gives your GP a chance to explain what to do if there are any health conditions that need support or correction.
Check-in before school
If anything unusual is picked up in the early years, you may be advised to seek extra specialist or paediatric care. Be sure to schedule a full health check-up for your child prior to school, including a general health, dental, and eye check.
Encourage physical activity
Staying fit and healthy is important for growing kids. When playing a sport or exercising, make sure they learn simple fitness techniques first, that they can build upon. It’s important for children to know how to warm up properly. This will avoid injuries and also ensures they’re not doing activities they’re not physically equipped to do yet.
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