Offer healthy snack and meal choices, limiting sugars. Encourage fruits and vegetables.
Encourage 3 meals daily, including a well-balanced breakfast.
Avoid direct sun exposure. Use a sunblock - SPF 15-30.
Continue fluoride supplement if recommended by your doctor. Make an appointment with your dentist for a routine exam and continue routine cleanings every 6 months.
Continue to have your child brush his or her teeth daily with toothpaste. You may need to assist them to ensure proper cleaning.
Ensure adequate amounts of sleep and physical activity.
Encourage importance of good personal hygiene.
Counsel on avoiding tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Use a seat belt whenever in a moving car or van.
Always have your child in the back seat as it is the safest place to be if in an accident.
Never put a child under 12 years of age in the front seat of a car with a passenger side airbag.
Turn the hot water heater in your home down so the hottest water you can get from the faucet is 120 degrees.
Install and test your smoke detector in or near your child's room.
Childproof your home (poisons, medicines, guns). Visit our poison safety tips page at www.YourPediatrician.com.
Make sure any playground environment is safe.
Obtain your local Poison Control Center’s phone number and keep it on hand (you can obtain this from our Web site, www.YourPediatrician.com).
Demand use of bike helmet; mouthguards and protective sporting gear when necessary.
Supervise most activities.
Keep matches out of reach and instruct on fire safety.
Do not keep a firearm in your home. If you must, make sure it is locked and out of reach from your curious child.
Provide a safe after-school environment.
Make sure your child knows how to swim and follow water safety rules (see our water safety KidTOPIC at www.YourPediatrician.com).
Praise your child at every opportunity.
Talk regularly with your child.
Listen to music together with your child. Monitor the types of music your child listens to.
Play board games and card games with your child.
Limit TV to certain programs and to maximum of 1 hour per day. Practice selective TV viewing (not channel surfing). Limit video games to the same time limit.
Encourage your child to read books.
Encourage participation in sports, hobbies, learning a musical instrument and other specific interests or talents.
Be consistent with rules. Reinforce limits and provide consequences. You decide how strict or liberal to be, just make sure you are consistent.
Set reasonable but challenging goals for your child.
Respect your child's autonomy, privacy.
Offer choices to your child at every opportunity to allow decision making.
Eat meals as a family.
Establish and maintain family rituals/traditions.
Try to allow expression of feelings (anger, joy, sadness, fear). Offer ways to resolve conflicts and handle anger.
Prepare your child for puberty and sexual development. Discuss body changes with boys and girls, menstruation with girls. Expect sexual curiosity. Answer questions appropriately.
Encourage your child to have positive interactions with teachers and other adults.
Prepare for school, meet with teachers regularly. Get involved with your child's school and organized activities.
Assign chores and offer rewards (point scoring system, allowance. See our Chores section of KidTOPICs at www.YourPediatrician.com).
Get to know your child's friends and their families. Encourage interactions with good peer groups.
Be an example of the type of person you want your child to grow up to be.
Spend time alone with your partner - one of the best thing you can do for your child is to maintain a quality relationship with your partner.