Start Healthy, Stay Healthy: It's as Easy as 1-2-3
Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 10:50AM
Sunny Peds Admin

As featured in the Madison Press May 15, 2010 Issue

We all want what is best for the children of Madison County.  Below are a few good tips to help start your child’s life in the right direction and how to continue on a healthy course throughout their childhood!

  1.  Have good prenatal care while you are pregnant to prevent infections, diabetes, and other pregnancy complications that can make your baby’s transition into life difficult.
  2. Breastfeed!  Breastfeed!   Breastfeed!  Breastfeeding can decrease your child’s risk of ear infections, serious complications from common colds and flu, as well as diabetes and obesity in their future. 
  3. Visit with your child’s doctor regularly for their well child visits.  It’s a good opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns as well as monitor their growth, development, and discuss common safety considerations for your child based on their age and activity.
  4. Vaccinate your child as advised by your doctor and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Vaccinations in the first year of life alone protect against the most common causes of pneumonia, meningitis, polio, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis, and flu.  These bacterial or viral infections can be life threatening to anybody, but especially a young child.  Please vaccinate your children appropriately.
  5. Do not introduce foods, cereals, or juice until told so by your physician.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sole breastfeeding until six months of age.  At that time, introduction of cereals is appropriate followed by baby foods and juice.  This not only decreases their chances of food allergies, but also obesity and subsequently diabetes in their future.
  6. Have your child properly placed in the vehicle in the appropriate car safety restraint system.  Your child should be in a rear facing car seat until 20 pounds AND one year of age.  Then they should be in the back seat in a car seat until four years of age.  Once they are 40 pounds AND 4 years old, they should be moved to a booster seat in the back seat until eight years old and 80 pounds OR  4’9’’.  Nobody under the age of 12 should be in the front seat of a vehicle.
  7. Encourage physical activity!  Not only does it help to burn off some energy so they are able to focus more on work afterwards, but it helps them burn calories.  Allowing your child at least 1 hour of activity a day is ideal.

To learn more about these topics and other important aspects of helping your children start healthy and stay healthy, come join myself as well as other local physicians and health care workers at Cowling Park on Sunday, May 23rd from 2-4.  Hope to see you there!

Article originally appeared on Sunshine Pediatrics (
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