Check-Ups and Immunizations

Routine exams and screenings help you and your kids prevent, identify, and treat health problems when they arise. Vaccines greatly reduce your child’s risk of serious illness (particularly when more and more people use them) and give diseases fewer chances to take hold in a population. Unfortunately, misinformation about vaccines could make some parents decide not to immunize their children, putting them and others at a greater risk for illness.

Evaluate information on immunizations, talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if your child has health problems or allergies to medications or food, and be sure to discuss what specific vaccine schedules are recommended for your child.

Failure to keep immunizations up to date could result in your child not being able to attend school. Each state has different vaccination requirements.

Healthy Sleep for Children and Teens

Children’s health and behavior take a nose dive when their sleep habits are out of whack. Adequate sleep will boost your child’s energy and enthusiasm. Good-quality sleep also can help your child learn more easily and reduce many behavioral problems.

How Much Is Enough?

Generally, between the ages of 6 and 9, most children need about 10 hours of sleep a night, while preteens need a little over 9 hours. Your child may require more sleep if he or she:

  • Has a short attention span, or is irritable or restless
  • Has unusually low energy low energy and activity levels
  • Is more tearful, anxious, defensive or impatient than usual

Sleep Tips for Your Children

  • Set a regular time for bed each night and stick to it
  • Avoid feeding children big meals close to bedtime
  • Avoid giving anything with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime
  • Make after-dinner playtime a relaxing time
  • Establish a calming bedtime routine

Each child is different and has his or her own way of approaching sleep. Some take extra time to fall asleep, while others wake more often during the night. You know your child’s personal habits best, so with a little trial and error, you should succeed in finding a routine that suits your family.