Posts for category: Children's Health Care

By Clearwater Pediatric Care
February 02, 2017
Tags: Exercise  

Children ExercisingChildren need physical activity on a regular basis to keep them healthy and strong. It’s unfortunate that many kids today are considered overweight. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. And in 2008, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

The effects of obesity on a child’s health can be severe. Overweight children are more prone to chronic illnesses as well as a poor self-image during childhood. It's critical that kids are getting the right amount of exercise in order to regulate obesity, promote heart and lung fitness, and prevent other serious illnesses. Adopting healthy habits at a young age can keep kids fit and healthy into adulthood.

So as a parent, how do you find the time to stay active and healthy? And how can you make physical activity fun and enjoyable for your child? To help kids stay fit while having fun, follow these helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Set a good example and embrace a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Children who see a parent making health and fitness a priority will be more inclined to do the same.
  • Limit TV time to two hours a day to encourage physical activity elsewhere.
  • Keep physical activity fun and enjoyable so that your child wants to participate again and again.
  • In combination with an active lifestyle, provide well-balanced meals and promote healthy food choices.
  • Talk to grandparents, teachers, and other caretakers about your expectations for fitness so that you can work together to encourage healthy activity when your child is away from home.
  • Turn mundane tasks, such as raking leaves, into a fun family activity that involves exercise.
  • Learn your child’s interests and suggest team sports, such as soccer as a great way to keep kids active and fit on a regular basis.

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle for your entire family. Parents can turn exercise into a lifelong habit by making fitness a part of their daily schedule. When your child is interested in physical activity at a young age, exercise and fitness are more likely to become a routine that lasts for years in years.

Questions about fitness or nutrition? Talk to your pediatrician for advice and suggestions for promoting a healthier lifestyle for your family.

Flu PreventionWith the arrival of flu season, many parents will be watching their children closely for symptoms of this dreaded virus.  The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs).   The virus spreads easily in settings where many people are contained in close quarters such as schools and childcare, making children especially susceptible to the flu.

Often confused with the common cold, flu symptoms are typically more severe.  The following symptoms are good indicators that your child has the flu:

  • Rapid onset of fever (typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Excessive tiredness, lack of energy and general weakness
  • Muscle aches and chills
  • Dry cough
  • Stuffy, runny nose

Other symptoms that accompany the flu may include sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Remember, if your child comes down with the flu, keep them home from school or childcare for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.  The flu is highly contagious and can infect other children and caregivers.  It can spread by direct contact, such as drinking from the same cup or through indirect contact, such as when a classmate sneezes on his hand and then touches the door handle.

Flu Prevention Tips

Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu typically occur during the fall through the spring. Knowing how to identify flu symptoms and prevent the virus will help you protect your family from getting the flu. Here are just a few tips to keep the virus away from your household.

  • Teach your children proper and consistent hand washing
  • Avoid sharing cups, bottles, and other utensils
  • Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from spreading
  • Practice the importance of coughing or sneezing into your arm or a tissue

To prevent seasonal influenza, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive the influenza vaccination every year starting at six months of age.  Ask your pediatrician about flu vaccinations for your child.

When your child is experiencing the flu, extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms.  Typical recovery time for the flu is one or two weeks.  Contact your pediatrician if your child’s fever persists, he or she develops a cough, or if he or she complains of ear pain. Flu is a serious illness that should be monitored closely.