- Introductory remarks
While the bad news is that one in two children in the USA are reported to suffer from one or another health problem as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma and to a lesser extent obesity, the good news is that they do not persist after their reaching sixth year. In other words, it appears in any childhood the first six years are crucial and taking care during this period acquires critical importance for their health and well being in the adulthood.
- How does one determine the nature of health conditions in children?
By way of a thumb rule, a chronic condition, whether it relates to type 1 or 2 diabetes, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, heart/lung problems, infections of any nature, learning and behavioral disorders, if any of them persists over a period of 12 months, then these children need medical care. Obesity of course is slightly a ticklish affair as it is difficult to distinguish a robust baby from an obese one and this may need a longer timer, may be any time before the child starts attaining adulthood. A rough indicator of obesity is when their body mass index (BMI) is in the 95th percentile concerning the child’s gender and age.
- Disease prevention and control
When it comes to the question of children’s health, it is the disease prevention assumes first priority, and control comes into play as the next most important aspect. There is a near unanimity on the importance of breastfeeding the child during infancy, because breast milk contains almost all the nutrients a child needs for a healthy growth. Besides, it also protects a child from a whole gamut of infectious as well as non-infectious diseases. It also confers an indirect benefit on the health of the mother in that it reduces postpartum bleeding that possibly reduces the risk of premenopausal breast and ovarian cancers.
The parents should monitor growth patterns during the first five years as if constitutes the milestones in their wellness. Measuring height and weight of the child, the participation in activities like sports, the normal display of features that portray a healthy ability of learn, speak, etc would all come under these mile stones. In other words, the parents should regularly visit their pediatrician who would be in a position to assess their children with the pediatric growth charts to track their growth patterns.
When it comes to controlling diseases you should be open enough to share information with your medical practitioner family history of the diseases so that the risks that they face could be minimized. Earlier detection and management of diseases that affect your children may ensure to lessen their suffering later and improve their health during the adulthood.
- Concluding remarks
Children are not only an investment to the family but for the nation. Hence by spending adequate time in their proper growth and wellbeing, the parents would not only be discharging the responsibilities cast on them but also ensure a brighter future for their wards and nation as a whole. A healthier nation means a lesser burden on the health budget and more resources towards other activities as education and creation of other longer lasting assets.