Parenting

Keeping your child healthy is one of the most important things a parent can do. Talk to your child’s doctor or pediatrician about any concerns you may have. Not sure where to start? Here's a list of basic health tips where children are concerned.

Your Child's Growth & Development

With regular check-ups, your child’s doctor or pediatrician can make sure your child is growing and developing properly. Ask what you can do to help your child gets the right nutrition and medical and dental care they need to be strong and healthy.

Child Safety

Always use seat belts or car seats. There are many other important age-specific injury prevention tips to help keep your baby and child safe. Please see the Resources tab above for other key points.

Gun Safety

Keep guns out of children's reach. It is safest if guns and children are never in the same home. But if they are, the gun should be stored separately from any ammunition. The gun should have a trigger lock, should be unloaded and it should be in a place where a curious, angry or troubled child cannot reach it, find it or get into it. Prevention now saves crying later.

Hand Washing

Teach your child to wash his/her hands often, especially after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing his/her nose or coughing.

Immunizations

Ask your doctor if your child has received all the immunizations appropriate for his/her age. If you just had a baby, talk to your doctor about recommended immunizations. The vaccines help prevent many serious childhood diseases. Your doctor can help you plan recommended vaccines from birth up through age 6. Then, teenagers need immunizations, too. As your child approaches adolescence, be sure to discuss with your child's doctor what shots your teen needs to prevent diseases that affect teens and young adults. HPSM has programs to cover all these shots. And remember, babies, children and teens need a flu shot every year.

Medicine

Never give aspirin to children unless your doctor has told you to do so. If your child is prescribed a medicine by his/her doctor, remember to use it the way the doctor tells you to. If there are side effects, don’t just stop the medicine. Call your doctor, discuss the problem and see what next steps should be. You and your child’s doctor are partners in taking care of your child. You both want the very best for your child.

Protection from the Sun

No matter what your skin color is, sunscreen is needed. Light colored skin needs to have sunscreen applied more often to prevent the risk of skin cancer as an adult.

Water Safety

Children can drown in a few minutes, in a few inches of water. Watch your children all the time when they are in swimming pools and bathtubs. Don't leave them to answer the phone. The call can wait, or bring a portable phone to where the children are. Make sure that doors lock so little hands can’t open them and run out to the water. Prevention now saves crying later.