Being a parent comes with all sorts of challenges. The most important one of all is making sure that your children stay in excellent health in order to realize their full potential. Here are some tips from the doctors at Bangkok Hospital Siriroj Children’s Clinic about how to raise happy, healthy kids.
1. Limit screen time. While we’re still studying the ways in which constant stimulation from smartphones wreaks havoc on even adult brains, we already know that it can fundamentally alter the developmental process of children. Babies and toddlers learn to think critically and engage with the world through play. A smartphone or tablet may seem like a convenient way to keep them occupied, but it may inhibit crucial cognitive development.
2. Make regular physical activity fun. Exercise is crucial to the physical and emotional wellbeing of children. Rather than sign your child up for a fitness studio, try to find ways to make exercise fun. Encourage them to join a group sports team or to play active games with their friends rather than sitting in front of the TV.
3. Vaccinate your children. In recent years, an increasing number of parents in the United States have opted not to vaccinate their children on the grounds that they believe vaccines lead to an increased risk of developing autism. Extensive research studies have repeatedly proven this claim to be baseless, yet the rumours persist. As a direct result, diseases like tetanus, the measles and even polio, which had been all but eradicated, have been making a comeback. This endangers not only the children who have not been vaccinated, but also their classmates and friends as well. There’s no way to overstress this: vaccines have been one of the most crucial medical breakthroughs of the last few centuries and have saved countless lives. If you want to keep your kids healthy and safe, you need to vaccinate them.
4. Insist on a varied, healthy diet. Getting kids to eat their vegetables can often feel like a thankless, never-ending uphill battle. Young children are often notoriously fussy eaters who prefer bland foods high in sugars, refined carbohydrates and fat. Keep introducing new vegetables, though, and insist that they try at least a little bit. They may not like everything, but by exposing them to a wide range of options, you’ll broaden their horizons and hopefully find some that work.