All parents want their children to have a carefree and happy childhood. It is therefore important that parents keep their child healthy. Prevention of illnesses or keeping children healthy is the most important.

Combating childhood illness

How you can keep your child healthy:

  1. Ensure that your child has a good and balanced diet, so that he or she gets the necessary nutrients and vitamins for healthy immune systems.
  2. Make sure that your kids have ample outdoor activities, adequate exercise and sleep. It is proven scientifically that sufficient sleep is important for a healthy body and mind for a child. The amount of sleep requirement differs between children of different age group.
  3. Discuss with your paediatricians about important as well as recommended immunisations, based on child’s health as well as family history.
  4. Supplements such as fish oil, vitamin C, multivitamins, probiotics as well as antioxidants may be important in certain children. These should be discussed with a paediatrician during a well-baby/child check-ups as most children who eat well probably do not need all these supplements.
  5. It is important to educate your child in the importance of handwashing especially before eating and after using the toilet. This can prevent gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhoea), hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and parasite infestations.

Related Read: Power Up! Top 10 Immunity Foods For Children

How to beat the illnesses when my child is sick?

Most children, especially those who attend preschools or childcare, do fall sick from time to time. Most of these minor childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. Therefore, parents should understand that antibiotics are usually not warranted.

A visit to the paediatrician or family physician doctor should usually be considered especially in a young child. Besides the usual symptomatic relief e.g. fever and cough medications, bed rest and decrease physical activities are usually recommended. Depending on the causes, doctors may also suggest more fluids or probiotics.

Related Read: Supplements To Boost Baby’s Immunity

By Dr Ellen Tay, Paediatrician, Thomson Paediatric Centre at Novena Medical Centre.

This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.

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