1. Make sure immunisations are up to date
Review your child’s immunisation record with your GP. Make sure your child has received all the recommended immunisations to date.
2. Provide your child with a tobacco-free environment
Indoor air pollution from tobacco increases the risk of ear infections, chest infections, and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you smoke, seriously consider quitting. Remember, the most important indicator of whether your children will grow up to be smokers is whether you smoke. Make your home a smoke-free zone.
3. Read to your children every day
Start by the age of six months. Reading to children shows them the importance of communication and motivates them to become readers. As they get older, it also provides a context to discuss issues and learn what is on your child’s mind.
4. Practice “safety on wheels”
Make sure everyone in the car is buckled-up for every ride, with children in the back seat in age-appropriate child safety seats. All cyclists, skaters and skateboarders should wear helmets and pads where appropriate.
5. Do a “childproofing” survey of your home
Go from room to room with a child’s-eye view, removing all the “booby traps” that await the curious toddler or preschooler. Think of poisons, small objects, sharp edges and objects, and places to fall.
6. Monitor your children’s “media”
Monitor what your children see and hear on television, in films, and in music. Children are affected by what they see and hear, particularly in these times of violent images. Talk to your children about what they see. If you feel that a film or TV programme is inappropriate, redirect your child to something more suitable.