Raising Healthy Toddlers

Once your child moves beyond infancy and learns to walk, there are new challenges to keeping him safe and healthy. His newfound mobility brings the opportunity to explore and play – and to get hurt. And as he gets older, some health issues may arise that will need attention.

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Cover Electric Outlets

If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to cover all electric outlets in your home as soon as your child can move around on his own. Tiny fingers like to touch things, so make sure to avoid the danger of electrocution.

Close off Stairs

If your home has stairs, keep doors to stairways closed at all times. It doesn’t take long for a toddler to tumble down them and get seriously hurt. If there isn’t a door, install a childproof gate.

Use Sunscreen

Toddlers need plenty of fresh air and exercise. Make putting on sunscreen one of the rules for playing in the sun so they’ll continue using it as they get older.

Wash Hands

This is one of the most important lessons to teach your toddler. Very young children will need you to wash their hands, but they can understand that washing is always done before meals and after coming home. As they grow, place a sturdy, short stool in the bathroom and stand with them as they take part in washing their own hands.

Use Car Seats

Medical experts recommend keeping children in car seats that face the rear of the vehicle until the children are 2 or until they reach the height and weight limit of the car seat. They should then stay in front-facing seats until they are 4 or even longer if they haven’t reached the upper weight and height limits. After that, they move into booster seats as long as the seat belt rests properly against their lap.

Keep Doctor Visits

The wellness visits you likely started when your child was born should continue until he reaches his teen years. For a toddler, these visits will include periodic immunizations, height and weight checks to make sure the child is growing adequately and evaluations of his overall health and development. If your child develops a serious illness or disorder, your doctor may refer him to a specialist. If this happens, it may become useful to have stored your child’s cord blood. Umbilical cord blood banking involves storing the cord blood at birth in case its stem cells are ever needed for potential medical treatment. Umbilical cord blood banking can later help not only the child but other family members because they have related genetic material.