Health at Every Stage
Prevea pediatrician offers top tips for a healthy childhood
You might have seen the slick new building rising in Altoona’s River Prairie, all glass panels and modern brick. This is the new Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building, (3119 Woodman Drive) where families will be able to receive general and specialized care. The new health center includes an urgent care, audiologist, women’s care, an ear, nose, and throat practice, and more, all in one location in a fun and happening neighborhood. It is scheduled to open Monday, Nov. 11 with a community open house on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 3-6pm. Prevea provides care to every family member by treating patients at their health centers, and by encouraging a healthy lifestyle at home. Dr. Katie Udenberg, pediatrician, just moved to Eau Claire, but she is ready to encourage wellness at every stage with these tips for childrearing. For more information, visit prevea.com
“Have a routine to your day. This teaches your child about rules and helps them do their best when they know what to expect.”-Dr. Katie Udenberg, pediatrician at Prevea Health
• Always practice safe sleep with your baby: always place baby on their back to sleep, use a firm sleep surface, do not place soft items (blankets, toys, etc) in baby’s sleeping area, do not co-sleep with your baby
• Give your baby breast milk or formula for the first 12 months. Baby foods may be introduced gradually beginning at 4-6 months. Ask your pediatrician for more information.
• Vaccinations are a very important way to keep your baby healthy. Regular vaccinations take place at the 2, 4, 6 and 12 month well child visits. Any child older than 6 months should get a flu shot every year.
• Read with your child every day! Young children love books and learn from sharing books with you. Reading together can also help teach your child to talk and get them ready to listen and learn in school.
• Children often become “picky eaters” at this age. You can help your child develop a healthy appetite by eating meals together as a family and having your child help in the meal preparation. Introduce a variety of healthy foods to your child but note that it may take up to 10 times for a child to like a new food! Don’t fight with your child over food; let them learn to listen to their bodies and use hunger as their guide.
• Have a routine to your day. This teaches your child about rules and helps them do their best when they know what to expect. Have meals together as a family as often as possible. Be sure to include reading together in your routine!
• Limit screen time to two hours per day. Make sure you know what your child is watching to avoid violent and other unacceptable content. Children learn best from educational shows and games when viewed together with an adult.
• Help your children develop healthy eating habits. Let them help in meal preparation and grocery shopping. Children should have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily; encourage them to try new foods to reach this goal. Limit juice, soda, and other sugary drinks. Eat dinner as a family as often as possible.
• Encourage children to be active as often as possible, at least 60 minutes every day. Be a good role model for your children by being active yourself or planning family activities. Remember to limit screen time to two hours per day.
• If you notice your child struggling in school, approach their teacher first. They may be able to offer further insight into your child’s behavior and academic performance at school. Ask for a plan to be put in place to help your child succeed. Be sure to bring up your concerns to your child’s pediatrician as well.
• Puberty is a stressful time for both children and their parents. Talk to your child openly about the changes in their bodies and how they are feeling. Don’t be afraid to talk to your teenager about sex; those who are best informed are more likely to delay sexual activity.
• Talk to your child about drugs and alcohol. Teach them different ways to say no to peer pressure and help them make responsible choices. Remind them that you love them and want them to be safe.
• Teach your teen about safe driving. Discourage them from driving with friends in the car, driving at night, and texting or talking on the phone while driving.