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What are the most important ways I can keep my child healthy?

Keeping your toddler safe is one of the most important jobs you can do as a parent. There are five things doctors recommend that every parent does, to help make that job a little easier. These are:

Knowing the number for your local hospital: if your toddler swallows something toxic, minutes can make a difference, so make sure the number is displayed prominently, and that everyone who cares for your child knows it.

Not putting your child in a forward facing car seat too soon: rear facing car seats are proven to be safer, and the longer you can keep your child facing the rear of the car, the better. Experts recommend that children as old as four face backwards in the car, and if you can find a rear facing Group 1 car seat, you should invest in it!

Keeping your child fed on healthy foods: too many parents feed their children junk food, just because it’s all they want to eat. Good nutrition is imperative though, so denying your child sweets and other junk food, and pushing healthy snacks and meals, can do a lot for your child’s health!

Avoiding juice as much as possible: Juice, even those designed for kids, is high in sugar. That leads to cavities, weight gain and other health issues. Rather offer your child milk or water, and limit fluid intake. Many kids fill up on liquids, and then have trouble eating.

Being a good example: If you’re telling your kids to make healthy and safe choices, like wearing a seat belt or drinking water, but you don’t do it, they’re unlikely to comply. Be a good example, and you’ll help to raise a healthy child.

More questions

There are very specific guidelines when it comes to safely administering over the counter medications to babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
A cold bath can actually do more harm than good to a feverish child.
Many children have a mild reaction to the MMR vaccine – it’s not usually full-blown measles though, and it’s usually not serious. There are a few things to watch out for though...
Injections are necessary - the thing is to just have them and then get on with it. If needs be, have your child’s favourite toy or something else that will distract him while he has his shot.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses, such as the common cold, and by over using antibiotics, particularly when they aren’t necessary, you are weakening your child's future defences! 
In general, chewable medicines are only designed for children two years and older, who are adept at eating solid foods.
Giving any child aspirin could contribute to them getting a serious illness known as Reye’s Syndrome.
As a parent you should understand the risks associated with various different types of medication
Both ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective pain and fever treatment options for babies and children.
Choosing between a vaporiser and a humidifier is a personal choice but both help to make children feel better

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