Children, if not taken care properly, they can be easily victim of many diseases. They are vulnerable to malnutrition and infectious diseases, which can be effectively prevented or treated with simple precautions.
Health Problems in Children:
Before discussing health problems, I would like to share some facts about the global children death prepared by World Health Organization (Global Plan of Action for Children’s Health and the Environment (2010 – 2015) :
- Every year, about 3 million children under the age of five die because of environment-related diseases.
- Acute respiratory infections annually kill about 2 million children under the age of five.
- Diarrhoeal diseases kill about 1.5 million children every year.
Why Children are more Vulnerable than adult?
Following are the important reasons because of which children are more vulnerable than adult:
- Children’s metabolic rates are swifter than adult
- Children’s immune systems process toxicants differently
- Children pass through critical developmental stages and their bodies and metabolic activities are not as strong as of an adult
- Children consume more food in proportion to body size (as well as different types of food), if it is not being taken care, it may also cause severe health problems
- Children’s exposure patterns with the environment are different from adults’
Some other reasons of children’s vulnerability are:
- Low-birth-weight or premature infants
- Poor or other severe health problems of mothers and hence give birth weak or handicap children
- Adolescent mothers
- Families suffering the severe problems, consequences of unavoidable emergencies, etc
Deficiency of Vitamins and Minerals Effect:
Deficiency of vitamins and other nutrients are the major problems for the children’s health. However, for the detailed information on this, check out the list given below:
How to Avoid/overcome Children’s Health Problems:
Following are the some of the significant suggestions given by the experts, WHO, and UNICEF to avoid children’s health problems:
- Start breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth
- Continue breastfeeding for the first 6 months of child’s life
- The introduction of nutritionally-adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months together with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or possibly beyond
- Practice responsive feeding i.e. feed infants directly and support older children.
- Feed slowly and patiently, encourage them to eat, but do not force them to eat, talk to the child and maintain the eye contact
- Practice hygiene
- Gradually increase the food quantity and variety
- Increase the frequency that the child is fed: 2-3 meals per day for the infants aged 6-8 months; 3-4 meals per day for the infants aged 9-23 months and so on
- During the illness, increase the fluid intake including more breastfeeding
- Use fortified complementary foods or vitamin-mineral supplements as needed (for details check out the list given below)
How to Maintain Natural Health in Children?
Maintaining natural health in children is not a difficult task provided you are following the simple steps given below:
- Maintain the routine for children’s eating, playing, sleeping, and any other activity that a child can perform as per his/her age
- Do all these things on time; time is most important aspect
- Maintain hygiene and also educate your child to follow it
- Make your child’s habit to eat nutrient food on time
- Do not admonish your child neither beat
- If he/she is small aged up to 5 do not stop him/her in playing
- Encourage him/her to play outdoor game – a game, which involves physical efforts
- Last but not the least; educate them to practice good behaviours fondly.