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. Some basic parenting tips are
- To reduce the danger of childbearing, all pregnant women should go to a health worker for pre-natal care and all births should be assisted by a trained midwife.
- 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.
- Children below three years have special feeding needs. They need to eat 5 to 6 times a day. Mashed vegetables and small amounts of fats or oils should be added to their food to enrich their diet.
- 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 or a special drink called Oral Rehydration Suspension (ORS).
- 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 dose should be given at one and half years.
- 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.
- Many illnesses are caused when 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.
- Parents should keep an eye on the child’s activities and also have knowledge about the mechanism of all the toys with which it plays