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Benefits news-Child Health Month

Your health benefits plans offer a wealth of resources for growing healthy children
Aug 1, 2014

Ready, Set, Grow!

All children develop at their own pace, both physically and emotionally.  But you can make sure your children have all they need to be their best by providing a solid foundation of health.

Introduce fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks at an early age to encourage a lifetime of healthy eating. Help them get at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.  And for adequate rest, most kids need nine hours of sleep through their adolescent and teen years.

You can develop your children's self-esteem by building on their individual strengths.  Just remember to stay flexible about your idea of success- not every child excels in the same way.

Visit kp.org/betteradventures for more ways to give your kids a great start.

learning to brush teethIt's never too early to think about dental health.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to the dentist before his or her first birthday.  At this initial visit the dentist will check your child's teeth and explain how to care for his/her teeth. Children should visit the dentist every 6 months. 

To help your child develop a positive attitude about the dentist, consider taking your child with you when you go to the dentist for a check-up. Your child will get used to the office and its staff. Also, "play dentist" to familiarize your child with what takes place during a visit.  Avoid using negative words such as "needle" or "hurt" or even words phrases like "that wasn't so bad, was it?" or "you were very brave".  Following these suggestions will create a positive view of the dentist and hopefully happy visits to the dentist office.

Children should be brushing their own teeth under adult supervision by the age of three.  Only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is necessary.  Start flossing your child's teeth daily when all the primary teeth are in or when teeth are touching each other.

Children should be able to brush and floss by themselves by age eight.  Turn brushing and flossing into a daily routine.  Make it fun by giving your child a colorful toothbrush, an electric toothbrush or bubble-gum flavored floss! With a parent's guidance and proper personal and professional care, children have a good foundation for maintaining healthy teeth.

Visit Delta Dental and check out their wellness website called SmileWay.  You can even subscribe to Delta Dental's wellness newsletter. 

Eye exams and eye health for children

Vision Service Plan (VSP) has great resources for employees with children. 

Did you know that annual eye exams for children are as important as well-child visits to the pediatricians?  Annual visits to pediatricians are important to keeping children healthy and ensuring proper childhood development.  But what most parents don't realize is that annual eye exams are equally as important.  Our eyes also need to be examined for proper development, as well as early detection of possible vision issues that could impair eyesight for life.

During infancy, a child's vision is constantly changing.  In the earliest months of their lives, babies can only focus on close-up objects, and they see only high contrast colors, such as black, white and red. At six months of age, however, visual acuity sharpens. It is at this point that babies should have their vision examined by an eye doctor to ensure that their eyes perform as a team, working together.  From this point on during childhood development, eye exams should become an annual ritual, just like annual check-ups at the pediatrician's office.