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Most Read: Wellness

Are Your Kids Caffeinated?

Find out why caffeine and kids don’t mix. Read more

Chatting About Online Safety

Nowadays kids of all ages are connecting with friends and fa... Read more

Why Yoga is Good for Kids

Little Cecilia Kocan, age 5, sat perfectly still, meditating... Read more

The Dirt on Dirt

“Don’t track mud in the house!” “Wash your hands before din... Read more

Nuts About Nuts

Holiday vacation time is approaching, and I already feel lik... Read more

Family + Sports = Fun

Fitness starts early—from a child’s first steps! When Mom an... Read more

Zits for Grown-Ups

Cafeteria cliques may be a distant memory, but if you’re sti... Read more

Make Sleep a Priority

  Parents often use bedtime stories and other peaceful... Read more

Walking the Middle Path

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a relatively new appro... Read more

Concerned about Fever?

One the most common reasons I see a child in my office is fo... Read more

Bringing Home Baby

As a parent-to-be, you are probably feeling overwhelmed as y... Read more

To Cell or Not to Cell

My husband and I were sitting on the couch chatting one nigh... Read more

Girls Fighting Fire

While going on nature hikes, singing songs, and roasting s&r... Read more

Fitting in Fitness

When was the last time you played with your children—really ... Read more

Let's Move

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in Amer... Read more

Eat Your Veggies!

Summer’s bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables offers a... Read more

Plan a Summer Cookout

Some of my favorite summer memories were times when my dad b... Read more

Put an End to Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged ... Read more

Mild Concussions

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Dave Baron, DO, ... Read more

Good-for-You Recipes

When I was little, my parents didn’t dress up my vegetables ... Read more

2019 Oct

10 Things You Need to Know

Check out these top tips for parents.

Keeping with this month’s theme of children’s health, I’ve been thinking about the 10 things you need to know to optimize your child’s health.

  1. Breast vs bottle. Fed is best. Breastfeeding is great, unless you don’t make enough milk. Formula provides the essential nutrition that growing babies need. Fed is best.
  2. Baby vitamin drops. Breastfed infants need vitamin drops. Vitamin D drops are fine from 2 weeks to 4 months, but at 4 months switch to Poly-vi-sol with Iron or the better-tasting Nova Ferrum Multivitamin with Iron. Don’t mix the vitamins with a bottle of fluid, as the infant may refuse the bottle. Just squirt the vitamins into an empty nipple and your baby will suck it down.
  3. Dental care is essential. The first dental visit should be to a pediatric dentist at 12 months. Don’t let your baby sleep with a bottle of milk. It will cause baby bottle decay. Brush those little teeth twice daily with an infant toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice.
  4. Well visits keep kids healthy. Infants get well checks at months 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, 30 and 36, then yearly. Measurements are taken, development is reviewed, and vaccines are updated. Well visits catch many issues before they become serious. Schedule your child’s yearly physical. When you call ask for a “check up” or a “well visit.” These are different appointments from the “sick visit.”
  5. Vaccines are safe and save lives. Diseases are deadly. Keep your child up to date.
  6. Flu shot. Yearly flu vaccines prevent influenza. Flu shots don’t make you sick, but may have mild side effects such as fever, redness, and soreness. Influenza (the flu) can lead to pneumonia and can cause death. Get your child’s flu shot early in the fall each year.
  7. Childhood obesity. A third of the nation’s children are overweight, and a third of those are obese. Know your child’s BMI percentage. 5th to 85th percent is normal. Above 85th percent is overweight and above 95th percent is obese. Remember 9-5-2-1-0 to prevent obesity. 9-10 hours of sleep each night. 5 fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Less than 2 hours of screen time (TV, computer, phone) daily. 1 hour of hard physical exercise daily. 0 sweetened drinks (soda, juice, Gatorade).
  8. Depression and anxiety are real in children. Be aware if your child has a change in behavior or mood. Seek out care. (Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255).
  9. Safety first. Seat belts in cars. Face car seats backwards for infants until they outgrow the car seat. Do not text and drive. Do not drink and drive. Never shake a baby. Bike helmets when riding anything with wheels. Apply sunscreen on your child and reapply every 2 hours or more often if swimming or sweating. Be vigil around water.
  10. Be their example. Kids don’t need the most expensive toys or the best clothes. Kids need you, their parents. They need you to spend time with them. They need you to read to them, to eat with them, and to show them how to live. You are their example. Kids learn what they live. Give them a healthy example.

Dr. Melanie J. Wilhelm is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Norfolk, as well as an Assistant Professor at ODU. Her book, Raising Today’s Baby: Second Edition, is available on Amazon. Read more at RaisingTodaysChild.com. Follow her at www.facebook.com/RaisingTodaysChild and www.twitter.com/Rzn2dayschild.

Richmond Ballet: Enter to Win Tickets to The Nutcracker at Chrysler Hall

The Magic of the Season! We’re excited to give away tickets to Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker December 6-8 with Virginia Symphony at Chrysler Hall. 5 lucky...

Free to Enter!