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KidsDoc Monthly Newsletter from AllForKids
January 2008, Vol-1, Issue-1

Preventive Care in Children – Why is it important?

By Dr. M.Vijayalakshmi M.D(Peds), M.D(USA), FAAP

 

One of the most tragic things about many serious health problems is that many of them  are preventable. Many problems that start as small health issues — the kind we all tend to ignore — can turn serious if they go undetected and untreated.

That’s why getting regular physical exams for your child from your pediatrician is crucial. Doctors can catch the things that you might dismiss as just mildly annoying — but could really be putting children’s health at risk.

Regular Checkups

Checkups allow your doctor to review your child's growth and development, perform tests, or give vaccinations.

Checkups also are a good time for parents to ask questions. Make a list of your questions and concerns and bring it with you. The doctor will have answers to many questions about your child, such as whether your child is eating too much or too little, whether he or she seems uncoordinated, or what to do if your child isn't sleeping well.

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends regular checkups at ages 2-4 weeks; 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months; and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 years.  Most health bodies recommend one preventive care visit to your pediatrician once every 6 months. Some children may need to be seen more often, others less.

Vision and Hearing

Your children’s vision should be tested before age 5. Most experts recommend vision testing in infancy. Your children also may need vision tests as they grow.

Newborn hearing screening is recommended. Hearing Test is also recommended as part of the annual physical checkup. If at any age your child has any of the vision or hearing warning signs listed below, be sure to talk with your child's doctor.

Vision Warning Signs

  • Eyes turning inward (crossing) or outward.
  • Squinting.
  • Headaches.
  • Not doing as well in school work as before.
  • Blurred or double vision

Hearing Warning Signs

  • Poor response to noise or voice.
  • Slow language and speech development.
  • Abnormal-sounding speech.

 

Growth and Development

Measurements

Your child's doctor will measure your child's height and weight regularly. Your child's head size will also be measured during the first 2 years of life. Keep track of the child's growth in the Growth chart or Growth record. These measurements will help you and your doctor know whether your child is growing properly.

Milestones

Children develop at different rates. This table shows the ages by which most young children develop certain abilities. It is normal for a child to do some of these things later than the ages noted here. If your child does not do many of these things at the ages given or if you have questions about his or her development, talk with your child's doctor.

2 Months

  • Smiles, coos.
  • Watches a person, follows with eyes.

4 Months

  • Laughs out loud.
  • Lifts head and chest when on stomach, grasps objects.

6 Months

  • Babbles, turns to sound.
  • Rolls over, supports head well when sitting.

9 Months

  • Responds to name, plays peek-a-boo.
  • Sits alone, crawls, pulls up to standing.

1 Year

  • Waves bye-bye, says mama or dada.
  • Walks when holding on, picks up objects with thumb and first finger.

18 Months

  • Says three words other than mama or dada, scribbles.
  • Walks alone, feeds self using spoon.

2 Years

  • Puts two words together, refers to self by name.
  • Runs well, walks up stairs without help.

3 Years

  • Knows age, helps button clothing, washes and dries hands.
  • Throws ball overhand, rides tricycle.

4 Years

  • Knows first and last name, tells a story, counts four objects.
  • Balances on one foot, uses children's scissors.

5 Years

  • Names 4 colors, counts 10 objects.
  • Hops on one foot, dresses self.

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20 New Year Resolutions for Kids from American Academy of Pediatrics

Preschoolers

  • I will clean up my toys.
  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I won’t tease dogs – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old

  • I will drink milk and water, and limit soda and fruit drinks.
  • I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
  • I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up

  • I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day, and I will limit the amount of soda I drink.
  • I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
  • I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
  • I will help out in my community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  • I will wipe negative “self talk” (i.e. “I can’t do it” or “I’m so dumb”) out of my vocabulary.
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.

 

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 Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic
North Fort Gate , Next to Adampilly Kavu Temple , Tripunithura-682301

Phone: 0484-645 2772,Website: www.allforkidsindia.com ,

e-mail: info@allforkidsindia.com

 

AllForKids Happenings – What’s New

AllForKids has launched a series of classes for Expecting Mothers on pre-natal, post-natal and early child care issues. Classes are conducted in association with leading obstetricians and is advised by AllForKids’s International Panel of Advisors. Please visit www.allforkidsindia.com/obclasses/ for more information and register.


AllForKids Vaccination Reminder Service

AllForKids provides all age appropriate vaccinations. We also offer a vaccination reminder service by which you are notified of upcoming vaccinations based your child’s age by SMS and e-mail. All customers of AllForKids are automatically signed up for this service. Anyone else (who is a resident of Kerala) can sign up for this free service at www.allforkidsindia.com/services/vaccination.asp