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Kids Health & Safety for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

Kids Health: Young Children

For safe and healthy kids starting in preschool and kindergarten, get tips that work. Our parenting articles help you with good nutrition for kids and keeping kids safe.

Wouldn’t it be great if kids came with manuals? As we all know, they don’t. That minor oversight on the part of Mother Nature has sent parents scurrying on a never-ending search for answers to kid behavior challenges. Establishing a great reward plan can help your child develop great habits with many different behaviors.

Your pediatrician may have advised you to begin caring for your child's teeth even before she has any. It's important to clean your infant's gums and continue with regular dental care as teeth begin to sprout. When they get older, it's equally as important that you teach your kids how to brush their teeth and floss. With conscientious dental care and regular dental checkups, your child will enjoy healthy teeth for decades. By the time all your child's teeth have come in (about 2 ½), his dentist will probably recommend fluoride treatments to give extra protection against cavities. Home care is crucial to helping your child maintain healthy teeth.

Isn't it amazing how quickly children outgrow their car seats? Decades ago, child safety seats were not required, nor where they widely used. However, as research pointed out how likely small children were to become injured in a vehicle collision, the legal system responded by implementing special vehicle safety laws that apply specifically to children. Today, child restraint laws are common in most states.Very small children must be in car seats, older children in booster seats, and children under a certain weight must be restrained with a seat belt. Although following these laws might be important, your child could care less. All she wants to do is move around the car, fidget, and look out the window. Some kids, especially those who have always been in some sort of vehicle restraint system, are perfectly happy to sit quietly in their car/booster seat and watch the world go by. Others hate being restrained, and, as soon as they can manage it themselves, they unhook their restraint and crawl over the seat. Parents who are dealing with this group of kids are often so frustrated they give up.

Childhood sexual abuse can have lifelong implications. Teens and adults who were abused as kids often suffer from depression, anxiety, and other problems. Although sexual abuse is not something parents look forward to talking about, teaching even young children some basics may keep them from becoming victims.

Small children seem to spend a go to the doctor's office regularly. If it's not for routine checkups, it's immunizations or illnesses. Needless to say, during the course of your child's early years, you'll probably get to know her pediatrician very well. Your child's pediatrician is not only your best resource for great medical and preventative medical care, he is also your partner in navigating the ups and downs of parenting.

Kids love snacks, even healthy ones. Snacks are a great way to slow down the pace of playtime and help keep your kids fueled up. Most research indicates that snack time is nearly as important for young children as nap time. Parents don't always know what to keep in the refrigerator or what to give their kids because their parents didn't have the benefit of new research on what we should feed our kids.

When you brought home your new bundle of joy, you probably worked hard to ensure that his surroundings were safe. By the time he was crawling, you may have had cabinet locks, corner pads, and outlet covers conscientiously installed. But, as your child grows, the need for home safety doesn't fade. It's important to teach your child how to use things properly and how to stay safe at home. When thinking about home safety, the first thing that comes to mind is keeping your child from being injured. For that reason, we monitor young children when they're in the bathtub or swimming pool, teach them to stay away from the stove or fireplace, and put sharp objects, chemicals, and drugs high up and out of reach.

Every parent wants their children to grow up strong and the key to your kids' health is to provide a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. You can provide your children with the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle by teaching them the importance of physical exercise and good nutrition, as well helping them prevent spreading germs.

Very young children are not immune to dissatisfaction with their bodies. Kids are bombarded with media images that tell them they have to be thin, tall, and good looking to be popular. These images put a lot of pressure on kids that far too often turns into eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia. Even children as young as four and five sometimes fall prey to eating disorders.

Some parents dread taking their child to a restaurant for dinner. Some kids even have trouble at friends' and relatives' homes. The fact is that meal time is smooth sailing for most kids but a source of conflict for others. Chances are your child will experience the mealtime meanies at least once.

Mealtime routines hold a special place in family life. They are a great time for the family to come together and talk. They are also a wonderful way to teach kids important mealtime manners. From preparation to clean up, kids can be involved in every aspect of the mealtime routine.

It's heart wrenching to experience the screams of a terrified child at the dentist's office. Yet, try as we might to assuage fears, some kids are just afraid of the dentist. But, even a child that is afraid of the dentist has to go. If you look at the experience from a child's point of view, it's easy to understand why going to the dentist can be scary. Your child is put into a chair, surrounded by strangers with masks and subject to poking and prodding with alien-looking tools.

The strange dietary habits of children often cause parents to worry if they are getting the nutrition they need. But, rest assured, studies show that, even though on a daily basis many kids' diets don't measure up, over a longer period of time, kids get what they need nutrition-wise. Even though we understand that most kids generally get everything they need from their daily diets, it's important that parents and caretakers teach kids about healthy eating, good nutrition, good food, and how to eat right.

Teaching kids basic safety rules helps keep them safe, healthy, and happy. Although the playground is a place for play, there are several basics your child needs to know so that she and the other kids on the playground stay safe. Two of the primary playground safety issues are physical safety and stranger danger.

Most adults know that they should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. But, when it comes to their child's dental care, the process may be less clear. To help parents, we've put together some answers to common dental care questions.

As we teach our kids about strangers, it's just as important to differentiate between just plain strangers and "safe strangers." Safe strangers are people who can generally always be trusted like police officers, fire fighters, and teachers/principals. Safe strangers usually correspond with safe places. Introduce your child to the idea of safe strangers during daily trips to the grocery store, school, a friend's house, etc.

Most kids are inherently trusting. They believe that everyone around them has their best interests at heart. But, as adults, we know this isn't always true. As much as we'd like to believe that our kids are safe from the dangers of the world, the only way they will truly be safe is if we give them the information and skills they need to protect themselves from harm. Unfortunately, this education should begin far too early.

There's no doubt that immunizations have helped modern societies nearly obliterate dangerous diseases. Once deadly diseases like polio, chicken pox, and mumps have been nearly wiped out. But, some of the diseases many of us have never even seen are on the rise because some young children are not receiving regular immunizations. Most public school districts require that children are up to date on their immunizations as a condition of enrollment.

Decades ago, kids would spend hours outside playing jump rope, kick the can, sandlot ball, and more. These days, many kids have to be forced outside and away from the television or video games. Because our society tends to ignore the value of physical activity, you may need to pay special attention to how much exercise your child gets to prevent child obesity.Kids are naturally active¦ if we let them be.

By now, your child is probably pretty used to hearing the word "no." He's probably even pretty adept at saying it, too. But, as your child gets older, he's going to need some basic safety lessons, and saying "no" is a big one. We intentionally school our children to avoid saying "no" to adults. We tell them they have to obey adults and that saying "no" is rude and inappropriate. However, there are some situations – situations we hope our children will never encounter, but that we have to prepare them for – where a very loud "no" may be called for. As early as possible, it's important that we begin discussing stranger danger with our kids. Part of this discussion should be what to do when your child encounters a dangerous situation.