As a pediatrician, you know better than anyone how to advocate for healthier children. Now that it’s National Children’s Health Month, we pulled together some board pearls from our Pediatrics Core as a quick reminder of ways you can influence your patient’s lives forever!
Emphasize with caregivers that for normal growth and development, nutrition is key. Specifically, children >1 year of age should eat a variety of foods from the 5 major food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. Also advise parents to keep their child’s sugar intake to moderate levels.
The required amount of nutrients varies, depending on age and sex. Here's a chart from our 10th Pediatrics Core.
Daily Nutritional Requirements chart from 10th Edition Pediatrics Core
What your patients' parents might not know is that outdoor play has been extensively documented as beneficial for the development, health, and general well-being of children. In a world where so much time revolves around screens, consider ways to arm parents with what they need to get their kids outside.
Three great tips include:
Plus, it's important to remember that obesity rates have more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 35 years. 1 out of 3 children and adolescents are either obese or overweight. So one great way to help combat obesity is telling parents the importance of outside activities like the above!
You may recall from your studies that it’s preferable for all children to have their first dental visit at or near 1 year of age. Not all parents are aware of this.
Another good reminder for parents: Teeth should be brushed twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste starting at tooth eruption.
Other frequent oral health concerns revolve around teething in young children. Ways to lessen pain and soothe angry gums include:
As a pediatrician, there are several topics you must know very well—one of the most important is everything and anything about vaccines. Three immunization pearls to help your patients be even healthier include:
Looking for more ways to keep pediatric patients healthy? Much of the above info is from the Core, which is an incredible resource. Get your copy of the printed or online Core and efficiently review every topic on ABP/AOBP boards while enjoying our crisp, conversational writing style.