Toddler brushing teeth – Image Courtesy of Pixabay
The spring and summer is an especially dangerous time for children and teens. That can scare you, but it doesn’t have to. There are plenty of preventative measures you can employ to save money on family healthcare. While you can’t be with your kids 24/7, there are many preventive measures you can take to help prevent all but the worst and most costly problems.
Good Child and Baby Hygiene
It can be terrifying to think your baby is suffering. But babies do experience many medical conditions. However, you can relieve and alleviate almost all baby and toddler ailments with simple hygiene products. For example, you can prevent drool rash by regularly wiping after meals and washing affected areas with baby products. Additionally, clean your children whenever possible, such as always before and after they eat and when they have been playing outside. Kids love to put their grubby hands anywhere as they develop their newfound senses.
Develop a Dental Routine Early
Children are often plagued by tooth decay. By practicing good oral hygiene and eating a healthy diet is preventable. Even so, dental cavities are still one of the most common diseases affecting children from toddlerhood through teen years. At least one child out of every four has a cavity by the time they are 4 years old. Although these baby teeth will eventually fall out, other mouthparts can get damaged. Therefore, it’s helpful to encourage good dental hygiene as early as possible to avoid expensive repair work later on.
Introduce Fresh Food Early
It’s also helpful to introduce fresh fruit and vegetables early on. During the early stages of childhood, your children’s food palate develops. While they might not initially like the taste of some foods at first, you can condition them by encouraging and rewarding eating them. The trick is not to force them to eat, which can cause an aversion. But you should also not give up. Over time, your kids will develop a taste for foods like broccoli. Additionally, food aversions that develop in toddler stages are likely to carry on into adulthood, leading to poor diet choices.
Don’t Overfeed Your Children
It’s a great thing to be able to feed your children as much as they need. But you may overfeed them too. It’s rather challenging to overfeed a baby since milk measurements are pretty straightforward. However, it’s a little harder to gauge how much you need to feed a growing toddler and child. You should feed a toddler around 1,000 calories per day. A good tip is to provide around 40 calories for each inch of height, with no more than 30% of fat content. Your toddler portions are a quarter to half of an adults’ while children’s portions are close to the same.
Use UV Protection (even on cloudy days)
Spring is on the way, which means slightly warmer weather and some sunny days before summer. But even though spring remains largely cloudy in most places, you should always use UV protection, even on cloudy days. It’s not the temperature that causes skin irritation. Instead, it’s the strength of the ultraviolet rays coming from the Sun. Unprotected exposure to the Sun can cause severe skin conditions, immune system damage, and skin cancer. Some of the best Sun protection for kids include Neutrogena Pure and Free and Babyganics Sunscreen Lotion.
BONUS: The Best Apps for Internet Safety
Safety doesn’t only cover physical harm, dental routines, and diet. Unfortunately, your children can be exposed to harmful content on the internet. And with children now growing up in a connected world, online safety has never been more critical. Some of the best apps include:
- Finn Goes Online: teaches children about online safety.
- Kaspersky Safe Kids: blocks content and allows easy monitoring of devices.
- YouTube Kids: assessed and sorted child-friendly content.
- Find My Kids: easy to use phone tracker.
- Boomerang Parental Control: provides a child-safe web browser.
- Google Family Link: manage all online activity including time and purchases.
Most online safety apps are straightforward to use. However, not all are free, but the protection they provide means you can avoid some of the worst exposure. Exposure that could damage your child’s mental health and psychological development later in life.
Keep a Close Eye on the Kids
It can sometimes feel like you need eyes in the back of your head when you have children. And as helpful, fun, and weird as that would be, you should watch your kids as much as possible. It only takes a second for something unfortunate to happen. You can look away from your phone, only to hear your child’s cry falling from something they shouldn’t be climbing. No one suggests you coddle your child or even feel bad about accidents. But you have a responsibility to keep your kids safe. Babyproofing, padding sharp edges and covering electrical outlets will help.
Teach Children About Household Dangers
Further to keeping an eye on your kids, you can’t do everything for them all the time. Therefore, teaching them about common dangers in and around the home becomes necessary. Otherwise, you face a costly hospital visit or further treatments. For the most part, kids are aware of the danger they can feel, such as hot things, but they don’t know what those things might be. A suitable method of teaching kids about something dangerous is to get their attention with a firm and loud voice and use words like “No,” “Stop,” or “Dangerous.” And then explain why it is so.
Encourage Exercise Time
Whether you like the idea or not, exercise is vital no matter your age. But encouraging activity from an early age has a great benefit that can carry on into adulthood. Schools play their role with physical education, but it’s helpful to provide some activities at home to supplement it. Starting exercise early helps children’s development and physical strength. And common bodily issues such as stiff joints and muscle pains are reduced as they age. Additionally, early fitness can improve confidence and prevent harmful weight gain which is critical as your kids grow.
Use Private Plans
Like insurance policies, you should consider private medical plans if you can afford them. Medical care, dental treatments, and even cosmetic surgeries offer private plans. These can be initially expensive, but they reduce costs in the long term. They might also cover experimental or uncommon treatments that insurance providers do not. However, your employer might offer access to private plans at a reduced rate or even for free in some cases. So, always inquire about these with your employment provider and take advantage of them if you are able to.
Make Sure You Have Insurance
Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a country with national health services like the UK. For instance, the United States largely requires health insurance. Health insurance is essential if you want to avoid costly medical bills. However, your cover plan determines how much you need to pay. Some of the best programs will cover all expenses, while others require part payment. Either way, you must hold some insurance policies to avoid increasing medical costs as your kids get older. Many insurance providers offer generous family coverage discounts.
Family healthcare can become expensive. However, there are numerous things you can do to reduce costs. Preventative care is among the best methods and includes hygiene, diet, and exercise. Further, teaching your children about dangers like fire, heights, and sharp objects will prevent severe accidents. And it’s helpful to take advantage of insurance and medical plans.