Your child’s well-being before the academic year matters…more than ever.
The summer is coming to an end, which means it’s almost time to head back to school!
New school clothes? Check!
School supplies? Check!
Child’s health? Time to check!
As the holidays end and families head back to the UAE to resume their busy lives, there’s a lot that weighs on in their minds as their children head back to school.
A yearly well-child health check up may not seem like an urgent thing to schedule, compared with everything on your to-do list. But the summer break is one of the best times to ensure you get this check-up done, just as you check up on their homework!
The benefits of your child’s yearly well-child check-up:
- It prepares your child for the academic year
Balancing the demands of school, home and social life, and sports and extracurricular activities, are never easy for your kids. When you factor in adolescence on the side, there are already dynamic changes happening in their physical and emotional development, sometimes quickly.
An annual well-child visit offers you and your child an opportunity to check in on his or her physical and emotional health, before taking on the new challenges that the new school year will bring.
- You help ensure your child’s mental well-being
The stress and peer pressure, that comes with getting used to the environment of a new class are things your school-going child will eventually face, which is where our paediatricians at HealthHub Clinics can help.
Booking a well-child visit in advance allows your child’s paediatrician to thoroughly assess your child’s current physical and mental well-being and check for any concerns in order to define their path to better growth development.
- You are aware of your child’s growth condition
Is your child going to participate in sports during the school year?
Even before you consider this question, it’s vital that you are aware of your child’s current fitness levels. Getting your child conversing with his or her paediatrician about sports-related subjects, from nutrition and exercise to growth is a smaller part of a much bigger subject: your child’s overall developmental growth assessment.
The growing up years in a child’s development is key as it lays the foundation for their future health. At HealthHub Clinics, part of the focus on every child-wellness visit is on providing anticipatory health visits at regular intervals throughout the first 6 years of a child’s life, while monitoring the overall physical, developmental and mental health. It also covers lifestyle modifications and prevention to promote health and integrating different modalities of treatment such as diet and exercise, rather than relying on allopathic medications and the overuse of antibiotics.
In addition to physical check-ups, your paediatrician will also review your child’s immunization history and recommend required vaccines, if any.
Yearly check-ups and immunizations are a must to ensure normal development, healthy growth and protection from preventable diseases. Combined with essential nutrition and the amount of physical exercise required helps you protect your child from common and potentially severe diseases.
Many potential diseases, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, can be lessened or avoided for long-term health through the right evaluation, guidance, and support.
Remember: starting out early means starting out right!
Watch out for these early health issues:
The Skinside story!
Getting away for the holidays may involve sunny days and adventure-fuelled evenings spent playing, splashing, and exploring places for warm summertime memories. But harsh weather can also lead to itchy, irritated skin. Heat rash is often noticed in babies and young children when sweat gland pores become blocked and perspiration can’t escape. The rash looks like patches of red bumps or blisters under clothing or spots where skin tends to fold, such as on the neck, elbows, armpits, or thighs.
Another common cause of itching and burning sensations is when your children step out into the Great Outdoors and when their skin touches plants such as poison ivy which could trigger allergic skin reactions causing redness, swelling and blisters.
Patches of dry, scaly red skin tends to flare up during colder months when there’s less moisture in the air. But dryness caused by air-conditioning and pressurized planes during summer travel can cause problems, too. Overheating, sweating and exposure to chlorine in swimming pools also contribute to creating skin-related issues in children.
Food allergies provoke strong reactions!
This is something you should take seriously, given that it could even be life-threatening.
Studies reveal that food allergies are more common in children than in adults, although over time, they will outgrow them. The most common foods that cause allergies in children are those with high protein content, such as peanuts, milk, wheat, soy and eggs.
What you need to do:
- Care must be taken when socializing: If your child has food allergies, advise him or her to avoid sharing food with classmates at school, or at other events such as bake sales, picnics or parties.
- Ensure your child is carrying ‘customised’ snacks and home cooked food in their tiffins when going out on field trips or other excursions where he or she may encounter problem foods.
- Alert the school nurse immediately in case your child has a life-threatening food allergy.
- Doctors could prescribe an EpiPenfor the school nurse to have in handy – just in case a severe reaction occurs. These pens deliver a shot of adrenaline that can open up the airways and allow the child to breathe until further medical help arrives.
Open your eyes to your child’s vision problems!
Is your child squinting more than he or she should when looking at the classroom board? Or are tears welling up every few seconds when reading?
Here are four signs that indicate your child may have a vision problem:
1. Your child has a short attention span.
If your child is quickly losing interest in games or other lengthy visually-challenging activities, you need to pay attention…these activities require clear vision and can be difficult if your child has a vision problem.
2. Your child loses track of words when reading.
Does your child find it hard to keep track of words when reading? Multiple visual issues could cause this, including a ‘lazy eye.’
3. Your child avoids reading and other close activities.
Does your child avoid drawing, reading, playing games or taking part in other projects that require closer focus? Your child may not be aware that the difficulty and frustration are related to vision.
4. Your child turns his or her head to the side.
When something is in front of your child, does your child turn his or her head to the side to see it better? This may be a sign of a refractive error, such as myopia or farsightedness, or a slight eye misalignment.
Just talk to the team of ophthalmologists at HealthHub Clinics who can help detect and treat your child’s vision problems early. The earlier your child is treated,
the better your child’s vision… which in turn can lead to even better academic performance!
So how can we help your school-going child?
At a well-child checkup, there will be a comprehensive review of your child’s physical, emotional, and developmental well-being. It also gives an opportunity to you as a parent to raise questions and concerns regarding your child’s health.
Most children in the UAE are very vulnerable to the harsh weather and sedentary lifestyle habits, making them prone to illnesses. Studies reveal that almost all children have either Iron or Vitamin D deficiency or sometimes, both.
To counter the negative impact of these deficiencies, certain blood tests must be conducted (Vitamin D, Serum Iron and CBC), to determine deficiencies and have them addressed them early on.
In the best interests of your children, our paediatricians at HealthHub Clinics recommend periodic check-ups, especially for dental issues and screenings for vision and hearing.
What follows is a review of your child’s vital signs such as blood pressure and growth measurements, and parameters including height, weight, and body mass index. We also review and address physical and mental health, the records of academic performance, and questions and concerns from the parents.
Our paediatricians also recommend that children with defined medical conditions have a medical identification bracelet specifying the medical condition(s), so that the child’s teachers and classmates stay well informed, just in case of emergency.
To know more, or to book an appointment, call us on our tollfree number: 8002344