Important Facts Parents Must Know
1. 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 .
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Diarrhea , 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. A child with Diarrhea also needs food to make a good recovery .
6. 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 .
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 .
10. 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 .