BMI is a measure of weight adjusted for height and helps us accurately assess the level of body fat and overall health of your child.
- < 5th percentile – underweight
- 5th-85th percentile – healthy weight
- 85th – 95th percentile – overweight
- > 95th percentile – obese
- > 99th percentile – morbidly obese
As always, it is important to remember that children should never cut calories or diet. This can result in a disruption in their normal growth patterns and the development of organs. We strongly encourage that they learn to make healthy choices, eat appropriate portion sizes and stay active.
Currently, in the US, school-age children are consuming 10% of dietary energy in the form of juices and soft drinks. These should be treats and not given on a daily basis. Now is the time for your children to learn the correct concepts of good nutrition.
Sleep is very important to overall health and well-being in children – a typical school aged child requires about 10 hours of sleep every night. They still need predictable bedtime routines and need “down time” that is not interrupted by television or other forms of stimulation (computers, cell phones, caffeinated beverages).
- Attend parent-teacher meetings and school functions. This gives you the chance to know what is going on in the school so that you are able to talk more knowledgeably with your child about their experiences at school.
- If your child is in an after-school program or with a caregiver, be sure that they are in a good environment.
- Physical Activity
- Begin to teach your child safe street habits, such as stopping at the curb, looking to the left, the right, and left again.
- Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted, approved helmet every time they ride a bike.
- Do not let your child play around any water unless an adult is watching. Even if your child knows how to swim, never let them swim alone. NEVER let your child swim in any fast-moving water.
- Continue to put sunscreen on your child before they go outside to play or swim.
Interaction with Adults
- Teach your child that it is never all right for an adult to tell a child to keep secrets from parents, to express interest in private parts, or to ask a child for help with his or her private parts.
- We call the parts of your body that are usually under a bathing suit “privates” because we keep them covered and because you are the only one in charge of them.
- It is never OK for an older child or an adult to show you his or her private parts, to ask you to show your privates, to touch you there, to scare you, or to ask you not to tell your parents about what he or she did with you. Always get away from the person as quickly as possible and tell your parent or another adult right away.
- Install smoke detectors on every level in your house and test the detectors every month.
- Make an escape plan in case of a fire. Practice what you and your child would do if you had a fire.
- Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- The best way to keep your child safe from injury or death from guns is to never have a gun in the home. Guns should be kept unloaded and in a locked place. Keep the key in a place where children do not have access.