Tips for Keeping Your Kids Healthy This Spring

In their efforts to explore the world around them, kids push boundaries and accidents happen. Short of keeping them indoors or encasing them in bubble wrap every time they go out, there’s no way to completely prevent accidents and illnesses. Still, there are several steps you can take to greatly reduce their chances of getting hurt or becoming sick.

At 1st Choice Urgent Care, we see our fair share of health problems among our younger patients around Bakersfield, California, so we have a few good ideas on some basic preventive measures.

While we can’t ensure that you won’t be coming through our doors, we can help you minimize your trips here with a few preventive practices.

Protection from head to toe

As the longer days call for more outdoor play, you’d do well to conduct a quick gear check. While it may be tempting to automatically outfit your younger child with the hand-me-downs from their older sibling, ill-fitting equipment is not the solution. Let’s start with helmets as an example.

There’s no doubt that a helmet can protect your child against head injuries, even by as much as 85%, but you quickly lose that protection if the helmet is too big or too small. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and doesn’t shift around when your child shakes their head. Also double check that the helmet has the right safety certification from ASTM, ANSI, or Snell.

If your elder child put the helmet through its paces and the gear performed its job admirably by protecting their head, you should consider buying a new one for the next in line. Helmets are designed for only so many impacts, and their protection can diminish after several minor blows, or even one major one.

If your child wants to engage in contact sports or sports with small flying objects, a mouthguard is always a good idea. Broken teeth are commonplace and can easily be avoided with a simple mouth piece.

Rounding out the gear, make sure your child’s shoes fit properly to avoid ankle injuries. In fact, all sports and activity gear is designed for a snug fit that encourages performance. Gear that’s too large or small is not only a recipe for poor performance, but injury as well.

The air they breathe

Asthma and sinus allergies almost always begin during the early years, so be on the lookout for sniffling, sneezing, and wheezing, especially in the spring. If you detect any abnormal breathing or gasping for breath, a doctor can help you manage the allergy or asthma, helping both you and your child breathe easier.

They are what they eat

Getting kids to eat right can be an uphill battle, but it’s critical to their health and development. Now might be the time to shake things up a little by changing the routine. Find new ways to deliver the right nutrients to their growing bodies by researching great snacks that deliver nothing but goodness, cutting out all the processed ingredients. It may take a little more effort on your part to supply more fruits, vegetables, and grains into their diet, but a quick Internet search will supply you with thousands of ideas, from sneaking kale into a smoothie to fruit pizzas.

Medical check

One of the best ways to keep your kids healthy is to make sure that you keep up with annual physical and dental exams. These provide you with a great baseline for your child’s health, and they give you the ability to catch potential problems long before they become more serious.

Washing up

While flu season may be winding down, kids can still get sick any time of year. It’s always a good idea to reinforce a good washing-up policy, keeping everything as clean as possible. We know it’s almost impossible to keep kids from getting dirty, but you can control some things by running their water bottles through the dishwasher, swapping out their toothbrushes, and carrying an army-surplus-sized tub of wipes wherever you go.

When it comes to kids, a few good practices go a long way toward reducing your trips to our emergency rooms. In the meantime, we wish you and your family a very happy and healthy spring, and please know that our doors are open to you from 8am-9pm seven days a week.

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