Today is World Health Day, a date set by the WHO to raise awareness of the importance of caring for and protecting the health of all people, anywhere in the world. Remember that health is a fundamental right, and in the case of responsible adult children we must ensure that it is guaranteed.
But it is also important that parents and educators teach our children to take care of their health from an early age; both physical and mental health. In this way, knowing how to love your body, respect it and take care of it are vital lessons which they must learn from the earliest childhood, but there are many other learnings which we must also inculcate.
Play sports and avoid sedentary lifestyles
Sport is a source of health and has great benefits for the physical and mental health of people, regardless of their age. Parents should encourage the practice of physical exercise in children from the example, outdoor games (which also involve a significant contribution of vitamin D) and family sports.
Doing sports helps prevent sedentary lifestyle and obesity, keeps bones strong, reduces the risk of suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, improves mood and motor skills. In the case of adolescence, sport also helps to encourage socialization among young people and inculcate healthy living habits.
For that, it is critical that children grow up loving sport and physical activity.
Inculcate healthy eating habits
Maintain a healthy and balanced diet in childhood not only does it help prevent childhood obesity, but many other pathologies and diseases that are likely to appear even in adulthood.
Although it is adults who must ensure the proper nutrition of children, it is important to instill from an early age what foods are healthy and which ones should be avoided or consumed in moderation, With special emphasis on the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables in abundance, as they are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
But let’s not forget that children are internalizing their eating habits based on the experiences they live, so our example and the relationship we have with food is critical. In this regard, experts advise offering all kinds of healthy food without forcing, including children when shopping or cooking, eating as a family and not using food as rewards or punishments.
Prevention measures against COVID
Especially in these times we are living we can not stop talking about the importance of educate children in prevention measures against COVID, Although I would venture to say that in many cases they are the ones who remind adults how we should act.
And it is that the children have very internalized the importance of the hand washing, the adoption of hygienic measures when they cough or sneeze, the maintenance of the social distance and the use of mask. They know that coronavirus can do a lot of harm to the most vulnerable people, such as their grandparents. they are fully aware of the importance of caring for themselves and caring for others.
Teach them the importance of hand washing
But hand washing is not only important as a preventative measure against COVID, as this simple gesture helps prevent up to 200 diseases especially common among children, such as flu, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, hand disease -Foot-mouth or intestinal worms, among others.
hem teach children how to make hand washing a habit, And it is especially important to wash your hands before eating or handling food, after going to the bathroom or after coughing, sneezing or sneezing.
General self-care of your whole body
Beyond hand washing, which is the most basic hygiene habit that children should learn from an early age, parents must also teach our children to care for and respect their whole body, As self-care is not only the main basis of a healthy self-esteem and a proper relationship with others, but daily cleaning and hygiene activities also help to encourage full attention and reach a state of calm, which has a positive impact on your physical and mental health.
The importance of oral health
Special mention deserves oral health, as on many occasions teeth and oral health are the big forgotten ones, Especially in childhood. And there are children who have a hard time brushing their teeth, and although the latest surveys give positive results in terms of this health habit, it is important that parents continue to instill it.
But in addition to teaching them how to brush their teeth and how many times a day to do so, we must also pay attention to the type of toothpaste used and go for checkups with the pediatric dentist and the dentist. orthodontist when appropriate.
The skin also needs special attention
Surely you’ve ever heard this that “skin has memory”; because depending on how careful you are in childhood, so will your health in the future. That is why it is important that from an early age children learn to care for and pamper their skin, Moisturizing properly after bathing, protecting from external aggressions and of course taking all precautions when exposed to the sun.
Obviously, adults are responsible for applying these cares, but it is crucial that our children understand why we pay special attention to the skin and take responsibility for protecting it themselves.
Inculcate postural hygiene practices
According to some reports, between 20 and 70% of children suffer from back pain at some point before the age of 15, becoming more noticeable as the child enters adolescence. In most cases this pain is due to muscle weakness caused by sedentary lifestyle and / or the weight of school backpacks, which causes lumbar, cervical and dorsal discomfort.
Again we highlight the practice of physical exercise, which would help prevent or treat this type of discomfort. Although it is also important to instill in the child postural hygiene habits, so that he learns to take care of his spine and understand the importance of sitting well in chairs and keeping your back in a correct posture.
Teach them that there are practices that can be dangerous
Curiosity and eagerness to explore and touch everything are innate characteristics in children, And while it is healthy, necessary, and enriching for them to do so, they must also be aware of the dangers that some of their actions may entail.
Therefore, while it is not a matter of alarming or ‘cutting off the wings’ at every step they take, they do have to learn what things not to do under any circumstances and what others can do with the knowledge and / or supervision of a adult.
For example, they should know that plugs do not touch, that they cannot climb on windows or balconies, that there are hiding places that can be dangerous, that in the pool or on the beach they must abide by certain rules, that the your head should be protected with a helmet when riding a bike or on skates … in short, that many of the accidents can be prevented with knowledge and caution.
Special mention deserves road and road safety, Something we have to teach children since they begin to have use of reason. Because helping them to cross a road is essential, but it is also essential that they learn from an early age the meaning of traffic lights, what they know what the main traffic signs mean, where we have to cross the road. correctly, why don’t we invade the bike lane when we walk …
The same thing happens when we travel by car, because while adults are solely responsible for their safety, they should also know that they must always be properly fastened to the seat, or if they are large, with their seat belt. well-corded safety.
Teach first aid
Everyone, adults and children, we should know first aid and know how to act in emergency situations, Because at any moment we might need to save our own life or that of someone else.
But, since it is not a subject that is usually taught in schools, parents should be responsible for teaching our children (either through courses with professionals, or ourselves if we have the appropriate knowledge) certain notions. basics that allow them to identify dangerous situations and know how to act or, if not, where to call for help.
Proper management of emotions is also essential for good health, As a child who knows how to regulate his behavior, who is assertive and who expresses his emotions and feelings without hurting others, will grow up mentally healthy and with a positive, constructive and respectful attitude towards himself and the that surround him.
Parents need to nurture the emotional intelligence of our children from the cradle, so that little by little they understand the important role that all emotions play in life, and so they know how to relate to others in a healthy way. .
Teach them to love their body
Children, especially the little ones, understand much better the importance of caring for their body when we draw a simile between it and a house. Our body is the house in which we will have to live the rest of our lives, And caring for, protecting, and “repairing” it when needed is critical to remaining the best of shelters.
Therefore, all the learnings we have described could be reduced to a single idea: to convey to children the importance of loving their body, which by its very nature is perfect, wonderful and beautiful.
In this way they will grow confident and confident with their image, grateful with their body and knowledgeable of the care they need. Because love for your body and for yourself is essential to grow happy and with good self-esteem, something that again ends up affecting your health.
photos | iStock