Tag Archive: healthy kids

  1. Why Yearly Physicals Are So Important For Children

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    Yearly physicals for children are also known as well-child visits. A yearly physical essentially involves taking your child for a medical checkup when they are well. It may seem contradictory at first. Why should any parent take their child to a pediatrician if the child is okay?

    Yearly physicals allow the pediatrician or a primary care physician to keep a watchful eye on the child’s general health and development. Call Pediatric Partners today to schedule a yearly physical for your child.

    The answer may surprise you. Yearly physicals are absolutely crucial for the growth and development of a healthy child. This is because children grow and develop rapidly during their first few years. Yearly physicals allow the pediatrician or a primary care physician to keep a watchful eye on the child’s general health and development.

    How Yearly Physicals Work

    During a well-child visit, the pediatrician or primary care physician will perform a complete check-up of your child. They will measure your child’s weight and height, check their blood pressure and examine their eyes and ears for any signs of visual or hearing related problems. They will also measure your child’s head circumference. All of these measurements are recorded in a growth chart that will become as a crucial part of your child’s medical history.

    At every visit, the pediatrician will make a record of the various measurements. They will also make a note of their various observations. By comparing notes that they make at each visit, they can identify potential problem areas and take precautionary measures to prevent any potential problems.

    Why More Yearly Physicals Are Important When Children Are Younger

    A new born baby undergoes tremendous changes in the first year itself. During the next few years there are several changes that take place and because different children grow and develop at a different pace, some abnormalities may go unnoticed till it is too late.

    When you take your child for yearly well-child visits, the doctor will advise you on what to look for and will address any concerns that you may have. Most new parents have several questions about their child’s development during these crucial years. The pediatrician will answer all your questions, whether they are related to sleep, childhood diseases, safety issues or what to expect as our child grows.

    It is always a good idea to make a written list of all of your questions and concerns so that the doctor can soothe your fears. As your baby grows older, yearly physicals will begin to include other health and wellness aspects such interaction with other children, speech and learning development and any family relationships issues.

  2. Healthy Electronic Habits For Children

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    Parents have put restrictions on the amount of tech-time their kids can spend in front of TV screens for years. Nowadays parents have a myriad of devices to worry about. From iPods, tablets and computers, to video games and digital toys, the task of establishing healthy electronics habits for children is becoming a difficult one for parents. Read on to learn more about healthy electronic habits for children and learn some tips for how to implement them into your family’s everyday routine.

    The Importance Of Monitoring Your Child’s Electronics Time 

    Dr. Shimi Kang, a Vancouver-based psychiatrist and author, recommends that kids under the age of 18 should only have two hours of screen time outside of educational purposes. Zero screen time is recommended for children under the age of two. While the children of 2016 have many advantages with the amount of technology at their finger tips, too much screen time can have an adverse affect on their health. Obesity, poor eating habits, sleep loss, social isolation and even behavioral problems can all stem from overuse, according to Dr. Shimi Kang. Cases of Internet and video game addiction in children are on the rise as well. Kang recounts hundreds of kids in her practice that exhibit technology addiction symptoms. “The accessibility of devices is at an unprecedented level – and it’s caught parents off guard,” Kang told Global News. “And in all honesty, we are losing this battle, if you want to call it that.”

    Tips For Forming Healthy Electronic Habits For Your Family 

    As the rise of mobile devices continues, a trend in parental control apps and software rise as well. These allow parents to more easily manage their children’s electronic devices. Such apps allow you to not only set content limits, but also limit the amount of time your child spends on certain apps altogether. If you don’t feel comfortable monitoring your kid’s screen time through apps or other tracking means, though, there are still many things you can do at home to promote a healthy relationship between your children and electronics. Kang recommends parents help their children to understand why it’s important to limit their electronic use.

    Also, allow your children the fun of picking activities and planning out what they want to do online during their allotted time. According to Dr. Kang, parents should, “Reinforce that it’s important that they (their children) get outside and play with their friends first, but to also ask them what games they would like to play during those two hours of screen time.” Parents also plat an important role when it comes to electronics use by modeling healthy electronic habits to their children. This includes not checking your cellphone during family meals, texting while driving, etc. “Realize that you are in control – kids don’t have access to technology without parents, especially little children.”

    During the school year, in an attempt to maintain healthy electronic habits for their children, many parents rely on the classic rule: “no video games on school days”, or “no electronics until your homework is finished.” But as summer days near, managing electronic playtime gets a little more complicated. One technique to keep consistent healthy electronics habits for your kids is to allow them to earn video-game or technology time. For example, an hour of reading or chores might be worth an hour of playing video games or watching TV. You can always simply limit your child’s tech-time per day. Allow them to gain your trust and reward them with choices. For example, allowing your children to decide how they want to divide up their allotted tech time between their other tasks.

    As you think through how your new healthy electronic habits will look at your house, be sure to consider several other things. Do you count gaming as part of an overall technology time allotment? Does building a world in Minecraft count the same as sitting and watching Sponge Bob? How about family gaming time: should having a family MarioKart race count as part of your kids’ set amount of computer or video-game time? Be sure to be thorough while making your rules in order to be fair to everyone involved. For example, you don’t want to tell your kids you’ll be monitoring their every minute of tech-time unless you’re up to the task. Otherwise you’ll end up reinforcing your kids on how to manipulate or trick you into getting more than you allotted!

    Do you have any tips on how to set healthy electronic habits? Please share them & any other thoughts below. We love to hear from you! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, & Google Plus.

  3. Child Speech Development Signs By Age

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    Knowing what is normal and what’s not in child speech development will help you determine whether or not your child is on schedule. Be sure to discuss child speech development with your child’s pediatrician at every routine well-child visit. It can be difficult to tell whether a child is just immature in his or her ability to communicate or if the child has a problem that needs medical attention. Read on to learn to clues to child speech developmental norms by age:

    Child Speech Development Age 12 Months And Earlier

    Children at this young age should be using their voices to relate to their environment. This could include cooing and babbling, which are signals of the early stages of speech development. As your baby gets older (often around 9 months), they should begin to put sounds together and incorporate different tones of speech. Most begin to say words like “mama” and “dada”, even if they don’t comprehend what the words mean. Babies this age should also be recognizing names of common objects, such as bottle and binky. Babies who watch intently but don’t react to sound may e showing signs of hearing loss.

    Child Speech Development 12 To 15 Months

    Children in this age group should have a wider range of speech sounds in their babbling, such as sounds from letters p, b, m, d, or n. Babies should also begin to imitate words and sounds frequently said by family members and typically say one or more words spontaneously. In healthy development, your baby should also begin to recognize nouns such as, baby and ball. Children should also be able to understand and follow through from simple one-step directions given to them, such as, “Please give me the toy”.

    Child Speech Development 18 to 24 Months

    At this age, there is a great amount of variability in what toddlers say and do. Most at this age have about 20 words they can say and that number builds to about 50 or more words by the time they turn 2 years old. By age 2, children begin to combine 2 words to make simple sentences, such as, “baby crying” or, “Daddy big”. A 2-year-old should also be able to identify common objects from their environment both in person and in pictures. When asked, they should also be able to point to their eyes, ears or nose and can follow 2 step instructions, such as, “Please pick up the bottle and give it to me”.

    Child Speech Development 2 to 3 Years Old

    By this age, parents should see large gains in their child’s speech. Your toddler’s vocab should increase to where they are now saying too many words to count. Your child should also be casually combining three or more words into sentences. By 3 years of age, your child should be begin to understand & comprehend phrases. For example, what it means to “put it on the table” or “put it in the drawer.” Your child also should be able to identify colors and comprehend descriptive adjectives, such as “big” versus “little”.

    Warning Signs of a Possible Problem

    If you’re concerned that your child’s speech development is off course from the above norms, there are other clues that can tell you whether they may need a medical attention. For example, an infant who does not respond to sound is of particular concern.

    Between 12 and 24 months:

    • Child isn’t using gestures, such as waving goodbye or pointing by 12 months of age
    • By 18 months, child prefers gestures over vocalizations to communicate
    • By 18 months, the child has trouble imitating sounds
    • Child shows difficulty understanding simple requests

    Seek a speech evaluation if a child over 2 years old:

    • Only imitates speech or actions and doesn’t speak words or phrases spontaneously
    • Only says certain sounds or words repeatedly and can’t use oral language to communicate more than his or her immediate needs
    • Does not understand and follow simple directions
    • Has an unusual tone of voice when they do speak
    • Is more difficult to understand than expected for his or her age.

    Generally, parents should be able to understand about half of a child’s speech at 2 years and about three quarters of their speech by the time their child is 3 years of age. By 4 years old, a child should be mostly understood, even by people who don’t know the child.

    We hope that these tips help you to recognize the signs of healthy child speech development and when to seek medical care. Please feel free to call us for more information on childhood speech evaluations. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts below and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

  4. Healthy Lifestyle Habits For Kids

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    Diets and exercise fads aren’t the best ways to go when it comes to losing weight, and the same goes for kids. This is because fad diets emphasize temporary patterns of eating which only produces temporary results. Most dieters gain back any lost weight when they go back to their old eating habits. Weight loss is most likely to be successful when we change our habits, replacing old, unhealthy ones with new, healthy behaviors. Below are some great tips to help you and your child learn and establish how to live a healthy lifestyle. As with any major changes to your child’s diet and lifestyle, however, be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician fist.

    Healthy Eating Habits

    Known as the “most important meal of the day” for a reason, skipping breakfast is a bad habit. A rushed school morning is now more than ever when your child needs to have a balanced breakfast to help them tackle their day. This is because eating breakfast kick-starts our metabolisms. Eating a balanced breakfast helps our bodies burn calories from the get-go. This gives your kid’s the energy they need to get through the day. Did you know that people who skip breakfast often feel extra hungry later in the day so that they eat more during their other meals? This can be true with kids, too. Get started on your family’s habit of eating a healthy breakfast by checking out this list: A Week of Healthy Breakfasts.

    It is also important to watch out for portion distortion. Because portion sizes are bigger than ever, it is important to teach your kids that overeating adds extra calories, which contributes to obesity in the long-run. It is perfectly acceptable for a child to eat until they are satisfied rather than forcing themselves to be “stuffed” or uncomfortably full because of any pressure to “clean their plate”. Another key factor for control portion sizes is teaching kids to drink healthier beverages. Sugar-packed sodas and sport drinks can be easily accessed at most schools from vending machines and cafeterias. Help you kids establish healthy drinking habits by encouraging them to drink as much water as they do anything else to help them learn to control how much sugary beverages they drink.

    Lastly, eating plenty of vegetables every day is key in establishing healthy lifestyle habits. Fruits and veggies are about more than just vitamins and minerals. They’re also packed with fiber, which means they fill you up. And when you fill up on fruits and veggies, you’re less likely to overeat. If your kids are picky eaters find ways to make vegetables fun. This can include taking up gardening and giving your kids the experience to observe how plants grow from a seed to full-grown veggie! Not to mention, there are plenty of fun ways to dress vegetables at meal time in ways that kids will enjoy. Check out this recipe for zucchini muffins.

    Healthy Exercise Habits

    Healthy types of physical activity not only burns calories and builds muscle but it also increases the production of feel good endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the brain that can help a person to feel more peaceful and happy. Kids that exercise experience these feel-good endorphins by giving a sense of accomplishment from the pride at having achieved a goal like finishing a race or not getting tagged “it” during a game of tag!

    Finding the type of exercise to do is the fun part. For adults, exercising is just another task to check off our checklist, where for kids, exercising can be representative of playtime. Rather than reinforcing playtime as the amount of time you allot your kids to watch TV, be on the computer, use mobile devices, or play video games encourage your children to spend their playtime walking the family dog, riding their bike, and playing outdoor games like “tag”. There are numerous ways to encourage kids to get out and play! Check out this website for exercises for teens, as well. Any of these ideas can increase your child’s daily level of activity and make a difference.

    According to Nemours, kids who are active will:

    • Have stronger muscles and bones.
    • Have a leaner, healthier body because exercise helps control excessive body fat gain.
    • Be less likely to become obese or overweight.
    • Decrease their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
    • Possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
    • Have an overall more positive outlook on life.

    Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.

    Teaching healthy lifestyle habits to your children can be a team effort. You can help your entire family learn to eat healthier and exercise habitually by changing everyday habits together. For example, make your dinner meal time a time where you all sit down together to eat as a family. We hope that this list is able to aid you and your little ones in establishing healthy lifestyle habits! Please feel free to share your ideas below and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook before you leave.

  5. Causes of Childhood Obesity

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    You’ve probably heard a great deal about childhood obesity in recent years and there is certainly cause for concern. However, obese children have long borne the brunt of negative comments from peers, doctors, teachers and other adults. Rather than adding to this issue, it is important to a child’s self esteem that adults address the problem in a safe, relaxed way that helps to resolve issues without making the child feel blame or embarrassment.

    CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

    Obesity in children is caused by factors such as overeating, poor diet, lack of physical activity and genetic history. One of the first and most important steps you as a parent can take in fighting childhood obesity is to educate yourself on proper child nutrition and evaluate your child’s current diet. If there is a large concentration of processed, fatty, fried or sugary foods in the diet, make changes to the way you cook and the foods you buy. Asking your child’s school to address this issue is also a good plan!

    RAISING HEALTHY KIDS IS EASY

    THERE ARE SEVERAL SIMPLE INGREDIENTS TO RAISING A HEALTHY KID.

    • Include more fresh fruits and veggies into your kid’s diet and offer lean meats rather than fried or fattier cuts.
    • Avoid fast food. Even with a very busy schedule, there is time for cooking a bag of frozen veggies instead of purchasing a bag of fries!
    • Eating boneless, skinless chicken breast baked or broiled in the oven is not only healthier, it is often tastier.
    • Even desserts can be made healthier if you take the time to make it at home with healthier ingredients. For example, a bowl of sliced fruit with plain yogurt is a delicious and much healthier alternative to sugar-filled desserts like processed candies, cakes and cookies.

    Obesity in children can also be resolved with the aid of fitness regimens. One of the most effective options is to organize daily activities as a family. Taking a hike in the local wildlife preserve or going on a group bike ride are great ideas! Planning fitness outings that involve the whole family changes exercise from a chore into something fun. Additionally, these activities can increase the bond between parent and child.

    Childhood obesity need not become a threat to your child’s health or your parent-child relationship. Make an appointment today to get a fresh start on great childhood nutrition and healthier kids!

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