As a parent, you want to give your child the healthiest foundation possible. A good start is taking steps to prevent problems from developing in the first place — and tackling them quickly when they happen. Regular well-child visits with your pediatrician are an essential part of keeping your child healthy. That way, you can ask questions, catch problems early, and get expert insight into preventative care. Regular dental care and eye exams are also important. So is paying attention to their mental health to help protect them against common issues (like depression), and seeking help when needed.
Getting your child the right vaccines — at the right times — can help prevent your child from developing vaccine-preventable diseases. This chart maps out the routine childhood vaccines your kid will need. Ask your pediatrician about a regular flu shot for your child too. They can start getting them annually (right before flu season starts) once they turn six months old. And if they do get sick — with the flu or another significant infection, like strep throat — be sure to get them tested promptly so they can receive treatment if need be.
But keeping your child healthy isn’t just about medical appointments and treating diseases. It’s also about teaching them healthy habits that will last them a lifetime. Make sure they get adequate sleep for their age and are properly protected when they’re out in the sun. You also want to ensure that you establish a good foundation for healthy eating and exercise to keep their hearts and bodies healthy. You only have 18 years with them, but establishing healthy habits now will last them a lifetime.