Here are the Important Facts that Every Parents Should Know
- The health of both women and children can be significantly improved by spacing births at least two years apart by avoiding pregnancies before the age of 18 , and by limiting the total number of pregnancies to three or less .
- To reduce the danger of child bearing , all pregnant women should go to a health worker for pre-natal care and all births should be assisted by a trained midwife.
- For the first few months of a baby's life , breast milk alone is the best possible food and drink .Infants need other foods , in addition to breast milk , when they are four to six months old.
- Children under three have special feeding needs . They need to eat 5 to 6 times a day and their food should be specially enriched by adding mashed vegetables and small amounts of fats or oils.
- Diarrhoea , can kill by draining too much liquid from a child's body . So the liquid lost each time the child passes a watery stool must be replaced by giving the child plenty of the right liquids to drink- breast milk , home - based fluids such as dal water , rice water butter milk etc. or a special drink called ORS . If the illness is more serious than usual , the child needs help from a health worker and the special ORS drink . A child with Diarrhoea also needs food to make a good recovery .
- Immunization protects against several diseases which can cause poor growth , disability , and death .All immunization should be completed in the first year of the child's life and a booster given at one and half years . Every woman of child bearing age should be immunized against tetanus .
- Most coughs and colds will get better on their own . But if a child with a cough is breathing much more rapidly than normal then the child is seriously ill and it is essential to go to a health centre quickly . A child with a cough or cold should be helped to eat and to drink plenty of liquids.
- Many illness are caused because germs enter the mouth . This can be prevented by using proper latrines ; by washing hands with soap and water after using the latrine and before handling food ; by keeping food and water clean ; and by boiling drinking water if it is not from a safe piped supply.
- Illness hold back a child's growth . After an illness , a child needs an extra meal every day for a few days to make up the growth lost .
- Children from birth to three years should be weighed regularly every month for the first year and at least every alternate month thereafter . If there is no gain in weight for two months , something is wrong .
- Children from birth to three years should be weighed regularly every month for the first year and at least every alternate month thereafter . If there is no gain in weight for two months , something is wrong
- regular weight gain is the most important sign of a child's overall health and development . It is the child's own weight gain which is important , not how the child compares in weight to other children .
- It is therefore important to weigh children every month . If a child dose not gain weight over a two-month period , then parents and health workers should act . The child is being held back either by illness , or food , or lack of attention . The following paragraphs cover the most likely causes of poor growth , and the most important actions parents can take to keep a child growing well .
- Breast feeding helps protect a baby and ensure its growth for the first few months of life . Immunization in the first year of life is also essential - it protects against diseases which cause under-nutrition .
- When other foods have to be given in addition to breast milk , at the age of four to six months , the risk of infection increases . From now on , it is specially important to check that the child is putting on weight regularly .
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