Healthy Kids for Professionals – raising the issue in an oral health setting

Healthy Kids for Professionals – raising the issue in an oral health setting

Healthy Kids for Professionals – raising the issue in an oral health setting

By Bryan Wright 0 Comment October 11, 2019


okay when you arrive today Jonanna took Claire out to measure her height and weight. At this clinic and at all New South Wales health services we measure the growth of children routinely. We do this because it’s important to see how children are growing over time. This helps us identify issues early. Yeah, I can’t remember the last time we measured her height and weight I mean they used to do it all the time when she was a baby. I know that’s very common and one of the reasons I thought it would be a good idea to check Claire’s growth today. We’ve now got her height and weight and we have a special chart that we use to track children’s growth over time. Claire is just inside the yellow section of the chart. If you look down here that shows that she’s just above a healthy weight. Oh that’s surprising because she looks normal to me. She looks like all the other kids at school. It’s very difficult to tell a child’s growth status by looking at them. I can’t tell by looking at children. That’s why it’s really important we check Claire’s growth every three months or so to check how she’s growing. I thought she was just here for her teeth. Why are you showing me this chart? Well, it’s really important to look at overall health along with dental health because oral health is related very closely to overall health so we’re looking at Claire’s teeth but we’re also looking at her general health and this helps us to keep track of that. Oh okay. Yeah so would you like to have a little look at this chart? Oh yeah. If you’d like to turn the chart over we have eight different ideas and tips that will help you establish healthy behaviors for your family. Oh yeah we do all of these, Oh but not the tap water. She doesn’t like the taste of the tap water so I give it juice instead. I’ll make sure she only has soft drink on special occasions because I know that’s bad for their teeth. That’s really good that you’ve identified that soft drink with lots of sugar in it is not healthy for your teeth or for general health. But it is important to know also that juice is not a really healthy choice because a small bottle of juice can have as much as ten and a half teaspoons of sugar in it. Oh, no I wasn’t aware that it was that bad. I thought it was good for them because it came from fruit. Yeah it’s it’s very confusing because some of these foods are presented as health foods, but it’s always a good idea to choose water first. Small changes such as choosing water rather than fruit juice can make a big difference to Claire’s teeth and how she’s growing. Water has fluoride in it and it’s really good for your general health and it’s a great habit to encourage for your whole family. That’s gonna be hard she really doesn’t like the taste of the tap water at the moment. Yeah it can be difficult. Can you think of somehow you might be able to encourage water for the whole family? I suppose I could get coloured water bottles. That might work, like reusable ones, kids ones yeah. Yeah do you think the whole family would maybe go along with that idea? Oh yeah we can, yeah it could be hard but we can try that yeah. Okay I’m going to check Claire’s teeth now but while I’m having a look you could have a little look at this brochure. Have you heard of Go4Fun? Oh, no I haven’t. It’s a really great program and it’s all about encouraging healthy habits and all of those ones that you can see in this chart. It’s designed to help families with tips to be more healthy like drink more water. You and Claire can attend together. Have a little look while I have a look at Claire’s teeth. Great I’ll have a read.

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