October 4th is Child Health Day. This year’s theme is “Healthy Children, Healthy Future.” Since 1928, the President issues an annual proclamation to all agencies and organizations involved with child welfare. These agencies are challenged to find ways to raise public awareness of the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles for children. Some of the most urgent child health issues are prenatal nutrition, immunization, childhood injury prevention, adolescent health, day care and child development. While many activities may be organized throughout the United States for Child Health Day, there are simple things you can do to promote healthy habits to your children.
Parent, or not, take the Surgeon General pledge:
- Be a role model by making healthy choices for myself.
- Help children be physically active through everyday play and participation in sports.
- Support children’s healthy eating habits.
Take a moment today to check your child’s shot records. Is your child current on his immunizations? When are his next shots due?
Make an appointment with your Department of Health and Hospitals or local Sheriff’s office to check that your infant car seats are properly installed. If you have older children, ensure they are buckled up 100% of the time.
Check toothbrushes. When did you last replace them? Also, do a visual exam of your child’s teeth. Make a dentist appointment if your child has not been in the last year, or you suspect a dental problem.
Get active with your child. Go for a walk or bike ride, and discuss how good it feels to exercise. You could also throw a football, or kick a soccer ball around the yard.
Offer a healthy snack after school. Scrap the chips and soda and try juice and vegetables with a low-fat dip.
Whatever way you decide to get involved, remember that you are your child’s first teacher. He/ she will mirror your example. Providing a positive, healthy lifestyle for him/ her and yourself will produce a happier child and family.