Your pediatrician should not be seeing your child just when they are sick or when you are worried about something. A routine child care visit, also known as a wellness visit or wellness check, is an exam that documents the basic health and development of a child.
These checkups occur very frequently during infancy and continue until they become an annual occurrence through the age of eighteen. Pediatricians can be a great help to keeping your child healthy and preventing sickness. Between visits, however, there is plenty that can be done by a parent to keep their children on track and ensure that the upcoming exam results show they are in great health. Below are a few simple ways to help a young child develop to their full potential.
This should go without saying. A healthy diet is sometimes underrated, but ask any pediatrician during a routine child care visit and they will tell you how important it is. The key to a good diet is a variety from a young age. This way, children will be more likely to eat a good variety of foods as they grow up when they start being more independent in their food choices. And multivitamins are not a good replacement for a variety of healthy foods!
Keep sugar as low as possible. It is a common misconception that by removing candy and soda, sugar can be eliminated. But there are some sneakier foods that contain high amounts of sugar that children may consume daily. Fruit juice is the main offender, containing as much sugar as some sodas and not much nutritional value. Children’s cereals have some benefits from the whole grains and fortified vitamins and minerals but should be limited as they can also be very high in sugar.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best, so find creative ways to include them in meals — and to make them “fun” when your child turns their nose up and decides to be picky.
No, you do not have to take your child to the gym and run him or her on a treadmill. Just ensure that they have plenty of opportunities to play. They need to crawl, walk, and eventually run around. This is enough to ensure that a child will be able to show healthy motor skills and physical ability at their routine child care visit.
Recess and gym class are routine child care and school activities and are good opportunities for young children to exercise, but it sometimes is not enough. Find ways to keep children active at home, too. Letting them go to the park (or depending on their age, of course, taking them there) will help them get the right amount of exercise for the day.
There are countless ways to ensure that a child’s memory is being stimulated, and this is essential for growth. The best way to do this is by frequent contact with the child! Don’t rely on apps and games to teach your child. Talking to them and using normal vocabulary — including words above what you might think they are probably prepared for — is an amazing way to help a child’s brain grow. They learn new words and concepts, and learn to use context clues to figure things out on their own. Reading, and just having plenty of books around the child from the time they’re born, is proven to be wonderful for a young mind. Video games are not the best way to foster communication skills and critical thinking, either. While they might be helpful for hand-eye coordination, they should not supplant time spent with your children having conversations or nurturing a love for the written word.
Going to the wrong Cape Coral pediatrician can lead to a bad experience where you feel like you are being pushed in and out of the office without getting your questions answered after a routine child care checkup. It is important to find a local pediatrician like MacKoul Pediatrics of Cape Coral who you can trust to listen to your questions and concerns. Not even the most experienced parent is perfect, so do not be afraid to be curious and ask questions about your child’s health. Remember, there are no stupid questions. If you are unsure about something, just ask! We are here to help you ensure your child is reaching their maximum potential, after all!
MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.
May 4, 2018