— From the pediatricians at Airline Children’s Clinic — 

Good health doesn’t happen by accident, and winter can be a challenging time for staying healthy. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it is vital to remain focused on children’s health. The pediatricians at Vecino’s Airline Children’s Clinic have these tips for Houston families.

Be sure your children’s checkups are up to date

If you have been putting off healthcare visits because of safety concerns, this is an excellent time to get up to date. Vecino’s Airline Children’s Clinic and other healthcare providers have stringent and comprehensive safety standards in place. Telemedicine appointments are also available as a first step so you can talk to your pediatrician and decide if your child should come in for an exam.

During routine exams, pediatricians can detect developmental issues early, when they are easier to treat. Delaying a checkup is risky, as small issues that can lead to problems later might go unnoticed.

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Call to schedule a checkup. New patients are always welcome.

Get vaccinations for your children’s health

You make sure that your children wear sunscreen during the hot Houston summer and that they bundle up during the cold winter. But, what about the vaccinations that keep you and your family safe all year long?

Vaccinations, sometimes called immunizations or “shots,” are overwhelming safe and are the best way to keep you and your family protected against serious illnesses. For example, getting the annual flu shot can reduce your child’s risk of getting sick with the flu by at least half.

Other vaccines are essential, too. Children receive several vaccinations throughout their childhood, many before they are two years old. Following the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is the best way to ensure your kids are up to date with their immunizations.

Watch for news of when the COVID-19 vaccine is available to you and your family. Get everyone in your family vaccinated when it’s your turn.

Make children make frequent handwashing a habit

Frequent handwashing is a free, effective, and simple way of preventing the spread of many infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Help children make a habit of using soap and water to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, including:

  • After being out in public.
  • Before and after eating.
  • After handling their face mask.
  • After leaving a public place.
  • After touching pets or other animals.
  • After using the restroom.
  • Before touching their face.

If you do not have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol instead.

Help children get plenty of rest

Children need more sleep than adults for healthy development. Help your children get the rest they need to keep their bodies healthy and fight off infection with age-appropriate bedtimes. Follow these guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Infants ages 4 to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day (including naps).
  • Children ages 1 to 2 years need 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day (including naps).
  • Children ages 3 to 5 need 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day (including naps).
  • Children ages 6 to 12 need 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day.
  • Teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day.

Keep wearing masks and practicing social distancing

We all need to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. Children and all family members should always wear a face mask when they are in public. Keep following advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).