Children’s health

It is normal to worry about the health of your child as they grow up. As well as making sure your children have their vaccinations, there are also other things to consider such as making sure they have gained the skills to be ready to go to school and have developed a strong bond with you as a parent.    

In the UK, and especially in Bradford, childhood obesity is on the rise. It is important to make sure your child is a healthy weight and knows how to eat a healthy balanced diet – children who are healthy tend to be fitter, better able to learn and more self-confident. They are also less likely to have low self-esteem and / or be bullied by others. 

Vaccinations

There are a number of vaccinations that your child should be given at different ages which are provided free by the NHS. You will be reminded by your GP / health visitor when it is time for your child to be vaccinated as you will need to provide your consent.

You can find a list of the vaccinations your child should be given here. 

Preparing for school 

The first days of school can be daunting for you and your child. There are some things you can do to make it easier for your child to transition into their school years and help them concentrate on learning.

Before your child starts school, it is worth making sure that your child is school ready and can do the following things on their own:

  • use the toilet
  • undress and dress, for PE lessons
  • eat and drink
  • wash their hands
  • use tissues and know to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’.
  • tidy up, putting toys away or clearing their desk

It is also worth making sure that your child is familiar with books and reading and that they feel confident to tell you if they are worried about school.

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) have a guide to getting your child ready for school which has lots of tips for helping the first few weeks go smoothly.

Making sure your child is healthy 

In Bradford we have a high level of childhood obesity. If children are overweight, it is likely they will also be overweight adults and be at greater risk of serious health conditions. 

Parents can make a big difference to the weight of their child. There are five key things you can do to help your child maintain a healthy weight:

  • be a good role model, children learn by example so if you are active and eat well it is likely that your child will too.
  • get active, encourage 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
  • control food portions, avoid feeding your child large portions of food.
  • eat healthy meals, make sure they get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • encourage less screen time and more sleep.

There are also some useful websites and tools you can use to get children engaged with eating healthier and moving more:

Advice for when your child is feeling poorly

Most babies, toddlers and children will get common childhood illnesses such as coughs and colds, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. Most of the time, you can treat your child at home with advice from your pharmacist, GP or health visitor. 

You can use the Feeling Poorly booklet for further advice on what to do when your child is feeling poorly, including advice on the most common illnesses and which service to choose. 

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