Child health issues and tips: 1-5 years.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
As a parent, ensuring your little one’s well-being is at the top of the priorities list. As they grow older, their immune systems get stronger, and they become more resistant to most health issues there are. But in their early years, kids are particularly susceptible to a wide range of health problems.
This is why it is so important to know which symptoms to watch out for and – more importantly – how to prevent the most common health problems from arising in the first place. Below, five child health issues parents often deal with when their children are under 5, as well as tips on how to support a child’s health.
It is quite common for children to frequently catch a cold when they’re under five years old. On average, a child at a preschool age gets 6 colds in the span of one year. Colds happen to be one of the most common diseases in children, and are usually caused by viruses. They’re particularly common in winter months, and spread by hand contact, coughing, and sneezing.
If your child has a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, coughs a lot, and has a fever, it could be a sign of a cold. Most colds go away on their own after several days, and taking in a lot of fluids and resting is all they really need to get better.
Another common child health issue whose symptoms often go away on their own, food intolerances occur when a child reacts to a particular food in a negative way. They may be sensitive to the chemical in the food which can cause their body to get irritated. It may also happen because of a child’s inability to break down certain foods. As a result, they may become bloated, complain of stomach pain, and experience diarrhea.
Elimination diet is the best way to respond to food intolerances, be it fructose, lactose, wheat, caffeine, or MSG. Consult with a dietitian or a GP before getting started, and always strive to teach healthy eating habits to children regardless of their age.
Often referred to as pinkeye, conjunctivitis can occur due to an allergy or an infection. It is often followed by redness and puffiness of the eyes, soreness, and a sticky discharge that is green or yellow in color. There are viral, bacterial, allergic and chemical conjunctivitis. However, parents may not be aware of the type of conjunctivitis their child has.
In that case, receiving general pediatric care is vital as it will help determine the best treatment. The doctor will decide on the length of the incubation period and recommend antibiotics. Although it often goes away in a matter of days, prioritizing hygiene and sanitation is a must in this period.
Although they often get neglected, tooth cavities are a problem that affects one in five kids aged 2-5. Cavities occur as a result of a diet that is high in sugar as well as due to improper oral care. The good news is, this problem is completely preventable. What’s important is that you build a good oral care routine early on. For smaller children, wipe their gums after a meal. For older children, use a flouride toothpaste and help them wash their teeth twice per day.
Another way to help with children’s dental health is to promote healthy eating habits. Limit sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage them to eat more vegetables and fruits. Take your child for regular dental check-ups, and you’ll help set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
It’s no secret that a growing percentage of the population qualifies as overweight or obese. Unfortunately, young children are no exception to this global trend. Having a BMI of 30 brings a lot of other health issues with it. It increases the risk of a high blood pressure and high cholesterol – both of which are heart disease risk factors. It may cause asthma, sleep apnea, and other breathing problems, and is often linked to type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is preventable, though. What’s important is that as a parent, you do your best to motivate your child to exercise and that you monitor what they’re eating. Combined, regular physical activity and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of children becoming overweight or obese while also ensuring they remain strong and healthy.
Children’s formative years are when they learn the most, but it’s also a period when they’re most susceptible health-wise. To ensure they’re developing properly, take steps to prevent the most common child health issues and educate yourself so you can make informed decisions. In doing so, you’ll lay a solid foundation and give your child an optimal start at life.