A GP and mum has revealed the three pieces of health advice that all parents need to be aware of for 2023.
Melbourne doctor Preeya Alexander said all parents should be thinking about sun safety for their kids from birth, you need to make sure you have introduced allergens to your kids and you can consider additional immunisations to the ones which are required.
‘These are my three gold nuggets of advice about kids’ health for the new year,’ Dr Preeya – who goes by The Wholesome Doctor – posted on Instagram.
A GP and mum has revealed the three pieces of health advice that all parents need to be aware of for 2023 (Dr Preeya Alexander pictured)
1. Sun safety starts from birth
Dr Preeya’s first – and perhaps most important – piece of advice is that parents should remember that sun safety in Australia starts from birth.
‘Don’t forget that sunburn in kids can increase the risk of melanoma in later life,’ she wrote.
‘For kids under six months, ideally avoid sun exposure by covering skin and seeking shade.
‘For kids over six months, you can use sunscreen (either physical or chemical is fine), but don’t forget to trial the sunscreen on an area like the forearm (about a 20 cent piece size) and monitor for a reaction over 24 hours before using it on the whole body.’
If you are using mosquito repellent as well as sunscreen, Dr Preeya said you need to wait until your child is above three years of age and then put it on top of the sunscreen.
‘The Royal Children’s Hospital has excellent stuff on this topic,’ she added.
Dr Preeya (pictured) recommends that all parents remember that sun safety begins at birth, and you need to introduce allergens early
2. Introduce allergens early
The second piece of health advice all parents need to remember, Dr Preeya said, is that allergens should be introduced early – ideally before your child is one.
‘If you’re introducing solids, aim to get those allergy foods in before the age of one and if you do manage to commence them with no reaction, do not forget to keep giving them consistently in their diet,’ she said.
‘You are doing all this to reduce the risk of food allergies.’
The most common allergy-producing foods, Dr Preeya added, are egg, cow’s milk, wheat, tree nuts, peanut, sesame, soy, fish and shellfish.
‘So often patients tell me they have successfully introduced foods like egg or peanut protein, but then they stop,’ Dr Preeya added.
‘You want to keep offering the foods to reduce the risk of food allergies, try giving them twice a week if you can.’
Remember you don’t have to introduce all allergens at the same time, and it can be best done slowly so if there are any allergies, you can identify the trigger.
Finally, Dr Preeya (pictured) said while you might think that your baby or child has all the recommended immunisations, you can consider extra ones that are not on the schedule
3. Consider additional immunisations
Finally, Dr Preeya said while you might think that your baby or child has all the recommended immunisations, you can consider extra ones that are not on the schedule.
‘People like your GP, maternal child health nurse and paediatrician can counsel you here, but there are additional immunisations you can consider for your child beyond the schedule,’ she said.
For example, the Meningococcal B immunisation is on the schedule in some states but not Victoria, while the Meningococcal ACWY immunisation can also be considered from six weeks.
‘Children receive a dose of this at 12 months on the schedule but earlier protection can be considered,’ Dr Preeya said.
‘Lots of my patients take this up when we do the six week checks.’
She added: ‘There are ways to reduce the risk further, so ask your health care professional’.