Your child’s health - get involved

2016-03-16 06:00

MARCH focuses on School Health Week and while teachers have certain responsibilities, so do parents when it involves their children. Children do better in school when parents get involved in their health, wellness and academic life.

What are some of a parent’s responsibilities and what are some of the things parents can do to help a child? ER24 offers the following advice:

• Vaccinations protect children from serious illnesses and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases. Ensure that they have received their vaccinations.

• General regular health check-ups are necessary, especially for younger children, to determine if they are developing well. It is vital that a child’s sight and hearing for example are also checked. Regular visits to the dentist are necessary. If your child is not feeling well, seek medical attention. Also, do not send them to school if they risk spreading their illness to other children.

• A healthy eating plan is important. Cook more meals at home instead of buying take-aways. Explain why taking care of their health is important; why fruits, vegetables and lean meats are good for them; what to look for on food labels and about nutritional values. You can limit sweets, chips, chocolates, sugary drinks and other unhealthy food.

• Encourage participation in sports activities. This will not only improve a child’s physical health but boost self esteem as they get better in the activity, allow them to make more friends, teach them about teamwork and time management.

• Spend quality time together. Doing fun activities together or spending time together at home can help build a bond with your child.

• Difficult topics like sex have to be discussed to educate children about the implications and possible dangers. It is also important to educate them about the danger of drug use, smoking and consumption of alcohol.

• Peer pressure, stress, depression, bullying, difficulty in being able to grasp certain subjects in school, these are common problems youth face. Have an open and close relationship with your child. Children will be more comfortable coming to you for help if there is trust and a close bond. Seek the assistance of counsellors where needed. Also educate children about issues like abuse, violence and sexual assault.

•Rules, boundaries and responsibility are important. From setting a bedtime, homework time, television time, going out to visit friends time, create reasonable rules and boundaries and teach children about responsibility. Be consistent in your decisions and remember not to be overprotective.

Also remember to set a good example.

- Chitra Bodasing

ER24 spokesperson

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