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The Children's Wellness Blog

Tooth Brushing Tips for Young Kids

January 25, 2017

Tooth Brushing Tips for Young KidsBrushing their teeth may not seem like any kids idea of fun, but it is certainly vital. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reported that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children in the US. Although this may seem like a concern for your child’s dentist, parents commonly work more closely with their child’s pediatrician before their kids ever see a dentist.

Kids with tooth decay are far more likely to experience cavities as adults. That’s why it is extra important for parents to reinforce good habits and emphasize the importance of regular brushing for kids at a young age. Many parents wonder, “When should kids begin brushing their teeth?” Typically kids can start brushing with assistance from a parent around age 2 or 3, however, they may not be ready to brush solo until about age 6. A general rule of thumb says kids are ready to brush without assistance once they are able to tie their own shoes.

The healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center have put together the following tips that should be of assistance once your child is ready to begin brushing:

  • Find a toothbrush with soft bristles designed specifically for an infant’s or child’s teeth.
  • To simplify things, break the brushing process into small steps that your child can understand and practice.
  • You can also place a hand over your child’s hand to guide the toothbrush as your child brushes to display proper form.
  • Let kids pick a kind of toothpaste they like, as long as it contains fluoride.
  • The parent should always place the toothpaste on the toothbrush for the child to ensure kids use the appropriate amount: a rice kernel amount for kids under 3, a pea-sized amount for kids over 3, and a normal amount for kids who are able to properly swish and spit (usually around age 5 or 6)
  • Start your brushing routine before it’s too close to bedtime to avoid potential crankiness.
  • An incentive like a sticker can help motivate younger kids to get excited for brushing.
  • In order to reach the recommended 2 minutes for brushing, use a short song or timer as a game.

Tooth decay for kids is no laughing matter, but thankfully it is preventable. The earlier you start practicing good oral hygiene with your children, the better off they will be in the long run. If you have any questions about tooth brushing or oral health care for young children, please reach out to the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center. You can contact Children’s Wellness Center today at (404) 303-1314. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips and updates.

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy this Winter

January 10, 2017

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy this WinterWinter is a wonderful time full of family, holidays, and making memories. This time of year also unfortunately means cold and flu season. While many parents do their best to keep their kids healthy, close proximity to others can certainly make it challenging (this is especially true for kids in crowded schools and daycare centers). That’s why the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center want to share some simple winter reminders to help keep your kids healthy throughout the chillier months.

There is no shortage of childhood sicknesses that have a knack for popping up as the weather begins to turn. Common colds become a lot more common during the winter months. Flu season also picks up considerably during this time, traditionally peaking around February. Other notable wintertime ailments to be on the lookout for include bronchiolitis, pneumonia and strep throat.

Several recommendations you can do to help your kids fight off germs and avoid illness this winter include:

  • Ensure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date and that everyone in the family has gotten their seasonal flu shots.
  • Teach your kids effective, thorough hand washing – 30 seconds with soap & warm water.
  • Teach your kids to resist touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
  • Keep hand sanitizer or disposable wipes available when hand washing is not an option.
  • Teach kids to sneeze into a tissue (when available) and throw it in the trash right after.
  • Make sure your kids have enough of their own school supplies like pencils, crayons, etc… to limit their exposure to potential germs from sharing.
  • Help build up your child’s immune system by providing healthy foods, ample exercise and plenty of nightly sleep.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that even following the most diligent routines will ensure your child doesn’t catch a cold. If your child does get sick, be mindful of not only your child, but those that may be around them. Help protect their peers and schoolmates by keeping sick kids at home until they are able to return germ-free. Generally speaking, kids can return to school as soon they are feeling better and their fever has been gone for 24 hours (with no Tylenol or Ibuprofen needed). When you’re taking care of a sick child, try to remember that the vast majority of these wintertime sickness will pass in about 7-14 days. Do your best to protect your kids, but remember to take care of yourself as well this time of year. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment or a flu shot, please contact Children’s Wellness Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.

The Value of Well-Child Visits for your Kids

December 29, 2016

the-value-of-well-child-visits-for-your-kidsWell-child visits are essential for monitoring the healthy growth and development of your child. Regularly scheduled well-child visits are a great way to keep tabs on the general wellness of your child and screen for medical and developmental issues. Additionally, well-child visits can provide the perfect chance for you and your children to build and develop a relationship with their pediatrician or family healthcare providers. According to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), these regular visits should start when a child is just a few days old and continue through the teenage years.

There are plenty of benefits to regular well-child visits. First, these visits are the perfect time for your child to get his or her scheduled immunizations. Well-child visits can be a simple way to track the growth and development of your child through specific milestones, learning and social behaviors. Additionally, meetings with your pediatrician are an excellent time to ask questions or raise any concerns about your child’s health you may have. Topics can range from behavior and sleep to nutrition and safety in the home or at school.

A well-child visit at Children’s Wellness Center will include the following:

  • Measuring your child’s height and weight to keep tabs on growth and development
  • Monitoring Body Mass Index (BMI) and other indicators of health and wellness
  • Immunizations for protection from certain diseases and infections
  • Questions about your child’s well-being, daily life and home environment

In order to best prepare your child for their doctor visits, talk with your child in advance about what to expect. Be calm and reassuring with your child and make sure they feel as safe and comfortable as possible heading into their well-child visit. We recommend waiting until the appointment to discuss any immunizations or other shots they made need. Otherwise, kids may become frightful or anxious about their appointment in advance.

In order to get the most out of your child’s well-child visit, we strongly recommend that parents complete the developmental, behavioral and health surveys via our patient portal before their appointment. This helps our healthcare providers by allowing us to review your child’s results ahead of time and better address any potential issues that may appear. We use CHADIS (Child Health and Development Interactive System), an award-winning web-based screening, diagnostic and management system, that allows us to monitor the health and well-being of our patients and help us catch developmental issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Once you are registered with CHADIS you will be able to access all the pre-visit forms, online surveys, informational handouts and community resources required before a well-child visit.

Preparation for parents is crucial to getting the most out of your well-child visits. So talk to your kids in advance and make sure you’re aware of any aches, pains or possible symptoms they may be experiencing in order to bring them to your healthcare provider’s attention during your visit. For more information or to schedule a well-child visit today, please contact Children’s Wellness Center today. We also host meet & greet events that can be a great way to become better acquainted with our pediatricians. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Google+ for more news and updates.

Why Kids Need Vitamin D

December 20, 2016

Why Kids Need Vitamin DEating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals is important for the growth and development of young kids. Of all the essential nutrients, perhaps none is as significant as vitamin D. Unfortunately, vitamin D is found in only a few kinds of foods. That’s why we recommend that parents be aware of their children’s vitamin D intake in order to ensure they are getting all they need. After recent studies showed that a large number of American children were not getting the necessary amount of daily vitamin D, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reacted swiftly by increasing their recommended amount of vitamin D for children and adolescents.

What makes vitamin D so essential is the way it helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorus. This is crucial for building strong teeth and bones. Additionally, vitamin D serves as a hormone with many other important functions like regulating the immune system, insulin production, and cell growth. Kids who do not get the recommended amount of vitamin D have a higher risk for bone diseases like rickets or increased bone fractures and may not reach their peak for natural growth or bone mass.

Drinking milk can be a nice source of vitamin D, but it alone is not enough. With this in mind, the providers at Children’s Wellness Center have provided a list of additional foods that contain vitamin D:

  • Fish like salmon and mackerel
  • Fortified dairy products like yogurt, margarine and American cheese
  • Fortified cereals
  • Egg yolks
  • Canned tuna

If your child isn’t able to get the recommended 400 IU of daily vitamin D through diet, there are vitamin D supplements we can recommend. These can be especially helpful for infants who are breast-fed since breast milk does not supply vitamin D to your baby. Any chewable multivitamin with 400 IU of vitamin D should get the job done. Chewable vitamins may not be safe for kids under the age of three who are not able to chew hard foods or candy. For kids too young for chewable vitamins, there are liquid vitamin preparations as well.

If you have any questions about vitamin D and how it may affect your child’s growth and development, don’t hesitate to reach out to the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center. Our providers will work hard to answer your questions and ease your concerns about proper nutrition for your child. Contact Children’s Wellness Center today at (404) 303-1314. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.

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