Having a kid brings about a whole new range of health worries. From their first day home from the hospital, new parents often wonder if every little cough is the harbinger of some larger problem.
As your kids grow up, still more potential issues present themselves. While you don’t have to be paranoid about every little thing, here is an overview of some of the more prevalent health concerns for children and how to approach them.
Health Concerns for Kids-
Recent studies have shown that America’s obesity epidemic has made it even to our youngest citizens. Unrecognized and untreated, infant obesity can lead to overweight children and adults. Here are some tips to remember, in order to avoid overfeeding your child:
- From 0-2 months of age, infants generally need to feed 8-12 times a day.
- From 2-6 months, infants need 3-6 feedings a day.
- From 6 months onwards, babies need 3 meals a day and around 2 snacks
- Do not automatically give a baby a bottle if it’s crying or upset; first, see if something else is causing the discomfort.
- Avoid giving infants too much juice; it’s high in sugar and calories.
- Children should not eat sweets until they are a year old.
- Do not use food to control or incentivize behaviour.
If your infant or toddler is showing persistent health issues, they may be experiencing a food allergy. Here are some of the most common allergies, their symptoms, and their treatments.
- Cow’s Milk: This is the most common food allergy in younger kids. It can develop at any time, from a few days to years after birth. Symptoms include asthma, colic, hives, sleeplessness, and blood in the stool. Babies with cow’s milk allergies will have to move to soy milk or elemental formulas.
- Eggs: An allergic reaction to eggs happens very quickly after ingesting the eggs. Symptoms include hives, vomiting, rashes, and inflamed nasal passages. The only treatment is to avoid eggs.
- Peanuts and other nuts: Peanut allergies can be an especially threatening allergy in young children. Symptoms include itching or “weird” feelings around the mouth, swelling in the lips and mouth, stomach aches, and in some cases rapid pulse and anaphylactic shock. If your child starts experiencing constricting air passages and rapid heartbeat, you should phone 911 immediately. Anaphylactic shock can be treated with an epinephrine pen.
- General Advice: To avoid the development of food allergies in children, parents should delay the ingestion of some foods. Fish, peanuts, and tree nuts should be avoided until a child is 3, while eggs shouldn’t be eaten until they are 2, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding for 6 months can also help avoid the development of food allergies.