Look after these 4 things to keep kids healthy


Physical growth and health 

  • Your clinic sister and pediatrician will plot your baby’s growth on the growth chart every time you take them for a check-up or immunisation. We get small and big babies, and your baby will be measured against the average expected weight and length on their growth chart. Make sure that their growth curve does not show a sudden drop or flatten. Discuss this with your health care provider if you are worried. 
  • Between 4-6 months old, solids can be introduced. Do this gradually, starting with a baby rice cereal, as this is the most unlikely food that your baby will be allergic to. Then introduce one vegetable at a time for three days before moving on to the next vegetable. Keep a look out for any allergic reactions.
  • Make sure you provide your baby with a healthy diet full of variety. By the age of 9 months they should be eating something from all of the food groups. If you are unsure talk to your health care provider.
  • Remember that babies should not eat any additional sugar or salt up until they are one year old.
  • Provide them with lots of carpet play and tummy time to make their muscles strong.

Read about how to handle your child's asthma here.

Teeth 

  • As soon as your baby gets their first tooth, you need to start looking after it. You can wipe your baby’s teeth with a wet cloth twice a day
  • Avoid fluoride toothpaste for your baby. Water or an alternative like a baby teeth gel is sufficient to clean their teeth with. 
  • Take your baby for their first check-up at the dentist around the age of 1.
  • Always use an age-appropriate tooth paste. The amount of fluoride in the toothpastes will differ.
  • Since the enamel on their teeth is very soft, make sure that you use an age-appropriate toothbrush as indicated on the packet.
  • Never let a baby sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Never give juice or cool drink in a bottle as the sugar will stay on their teeth when they sleep and lead to tooth decay.

Eyes 

  • Your baby’s eye health will be examined by the paediatrician after birth and with every follow-up visit.
  • Play eye-tracking games with your baby, where they have to follow something they see. They have to be able to do this by the age of 3 months. If you feel worried about your baby’s lack of reaction to things they see at this age, speak to your health-care provider.
  • Around age 3½ and 5 years, children should have a comprehensive eye examination with a paediatric optometrist. During the school-going years this should be done annually.

Ears 

  • All babies should undergo a screening in the first week after birth.
  • At around 6 weeks, all babies should respond to sounds or voices in their environment. Even if they don’t have the head control to turn towards a sound, you can see through the reaction on their face if they heard the sound. If your baby does not show a response or if you feel unsure or worried, consult with your health-care provider.
  • Children who suffer from regular ear infections or have difficulties with fluid draining from their ear canals, should be monitored closely to prevent speech delays due to insufficient hearing.
You might want to read about and watch our Chocking and CPR videos, here.

Keep a Personal Health Record for your child.