5 Important Tips for Healthy Children in Santa Fe - SantaFe.com
Healthy children playing soccer in a park.

Every parent hopes to have healthy children and thinking ahead can make a major difference in the lives of your kids. Making some preventive efforts and taking healthy steps can help keep those little ones (and older ones) in great shape and also help reveal possible points of concern as they grow older.

Southwest Care Center in Santa Fe, including the award-winning pediatrics center, offers parents the chance to seek primary and preventive care. Here are some ideas from the experts to help keep your kids healthy and safe.

Mother and happy baby with pediatrician listing to chest. Preventive care helps develop healthy children.

1 – Preventive Care is Essential

Planning ahead can keep kids healthy in the long run and also reveal possible medical conditions that might need to be addressed or need further examination. Regular exams with a child’s pediatrician and dentist should become a regular part of any family’s routine.

Other critical needs include immunizations, annual checkups, hearing and vision screenings, tracking growth and development, and school and sports physicals. Proper medication is also key in maintaining a child’s health.

As HealthyChilden.org notes: “Parents know who they should go to when their child is sick. But pediatrician visits are just as important for healthy children.”


Looking for the perfect pediatrician for your child?

Southwest Care Center’s Santa Fe Pediatrics can be the perfect option.


2 – Exercise Matters for Healthy Children

Obviously monitoring children’s physical and psychological life at home is also key to keeping them on the right track. Experts say children should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and parents can help lead by example.

Santa Fe residents have many options when it comes to encouraging physical activities. Enjoy some active time together at some of the city’s many parks and playgrounds. Numerous organized competitive sports are also available. And, of course, capture your child’s sense of adventure by visiting some of the area’s many magnificent hiking trails.

3 – Watch That Diet

A big cheeseburger or slice of pizza may taste great but isn’t always the best option. Encourage kids to enjoy healthy foods and beverages, including plenty of water. The CDC estimates that almost 20% of children and adolescents from ages 2 to 19 are affected by obesity.

A well-balanced meal can go a long way in helping to reverse some of these trends. Take steps to make healthy eating more of a priority. Visit the local farmers market to pick out fresh produce to cook together. Avoiding sugary foods and beverages can prevent not just obesity, but also tooth decay.

Child brushing her teeth.

4 – Winning Routines for Healthy Children

Speaking of tooth decay, instill some positive routines in those little ones early – such as brushing their teeth twice daily and teaching children to floss. Also, limit screen time and instead encourage more family time and active play that might burn some calories.

At a time when concussions and head injuries have become more of a concern at all levels, take a safety-first approach. Require your child to wear a properly fitting helmet when bicycling, skateboarding, or engaging in other activities that might lead to some falls. Sports leagues should also take a safety-first approach.

Looking for the perfect pediatrician for your child?

Southwest Care Center’s Santa Fe Pediatrics can be the perfect option.

5 – Sleep Time Counts

Put a regular bedtime routine in place for your children and help your child get plenty of sleep. Too many “electronic experiences” may keep a child distracted, so make sure your child gets enough rest. Experts recommend:

  • Infants (4 to 12 months): 12 – 16 hours of sleep
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 – 14 hours
  • Children (3 to 5 years): 10 – 13 hours
  • Children (6 – 12 years): 9 – 12 hours
  • Teenagers (13 – 18 years): 8 – 10 hours

“Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of young minds,” the Sleep Foundation reports. “In addition to having a direct effect on happiness, research shows that sleep impacts alertness and attention, cognitive performance, mood, resiliency, vocabulary acquisition, and learning and memory. In toddlers, napping appears to be necessary for memory consolidation, executive attention, and motor skill development. Sleep also has important effects on growth, especially in early infancy.”

This story sponsored by SOUTHWEST CARE


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This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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