Paediatric Health

Every Hour Matters: How much sleep does your child really need?

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Sleep is an essential part of our lives and we all know that it is crucial that our children get a good nights sleep.  Without it, our children’s behaviour is impaired and a bad night’s sleep can create monsters out of our little angels!

According to The Sleep Foundation, it is difficult to tell when your child is getting an insufficient amount of sleep as drowsy children do not necessarily slow down the way adults do. When tired, children will often display hyperactive behaviour and resist bedtime. This can lead to a very negative pattern of behaviour for the entire family with stressed parents and upset infants.

If you believe your child isn’t sleeping enough then speaking to a paediatrician should be your first step. It’s important to rule out any form of sleep disorder or medical condition and they will be able to advise on tips for a better night sleep. There are many steps you can take to improve the sleeping habits of your child, for example setting aside a time before bed to wind down properly and limiting the use of technology.

Dr Augusto Palombi, The Italian Medical Centre’s Paediatrician recommends that a good bed routine is important whatever the age. He has provided some essential tips that will help us get the best night sleep:

– Try to go to sleep at the same time every night, a good routine is crucial.

– For babies, they should have a bath and be changed into comfortable night clothes. A lullaby and a cuddle also helps!

– Avoid using screens for at least 1 hour before going to bed.

– Avoid any form of caffeine for the last 3/4 hours before settling down to sleep.

– Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind and can also help us to get a restful night sleep.

– Ensure the bedroom is kept cool (18/19 celsius). Keep the room dark and calm, better to not keep any technology in the room that has flashing lights as this can interfere with sleep.

– CDs with hypnotic music are also worth a try as they can help relax the mind.

The sleep foundation have put together the following guidelines indicating how much sleep your child requires to be fully rested:

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At The Italian Medical Centre, we offer a variety of services for young children and adolescents, from paediatric care to psychological support and medical advice to help your children and ensure they get the best care and support. To contact us and view Dr Augusto Palombi’s profile follow this link:

Are You Boosting Your Children’s Natural Immunity This Winter?

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Winter is fast approaching, alongside this comes a variety of colds and winter bugs that spread around schools like wildfire. Avoiding a cold during the Winter is almost impossible, however, we have some top tips that will help you keep your children’s immunity up this Winter.

Wash hands – Ensure your children wash their hands regularly with antibacterial soap, it sounds simple but it is one of the most effective ways to prevent cold and flu bugs – especially in a school environment where germs are high.

Eating the right diet – Immune boosting foods such as ginger, garlic, spinach are all full of vital immune-boosting vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Keeping the body well nourished is important so when viruses do strike the immune system has fuel to work efficiently.

Vitamin C – There is evidence that Vitamin C helps make cold symptoms less severe and may shorten the duration of a cold. Foods that contain a high level of vitamin C that you can incorporate into your child’s packed lunches are dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes and papayas.

Keep sugar to a minimum –  Sugar has been known to decrease the immune response, so if your children are consuming lots of sugar on a regular basis this could lower their immune system making them more vulnerable to flu’s and viruses.

Plenty of sleep – Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is vital, sleep is the way our bodies repair and heal. So, during cold and flu season it is immensely important your child is gaining the sleep they need. Diffusing essential oils like lavender and chamomile before bed is the ideal way for you and your children to unwind and relax in preparation for a deep sleep.

Anxiety and stress levels can be high when you’re looking after a poorly child, however try to remember that most illnesses pass in a week or so and remember it will all ultimately help strengthen your child’s immune system – The Italian Medical Centre offer a variety of services for young children and adolescents, from paediatric care to psychological support including paediatric nutrition, allergies and general medicine. If you would like to speak to us about how we could help you, please contact us today.

Making Nutrition for Your Kids Fun

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Do you struggle to get your children eating the right things?

Involve your children in mealtimes and make food fun!

Do your children turn their nose up at vegetables? Perhaps they tell you they don’t like some foods when you know they haven’t tried them? Getting the right vitamins and nutrients into your kids’ diets isn’t easy, and can leave you feeling stressed or dreading mealtimes.

When planning your upcoming family meals, why not try and think about how you can involve your kids and make mealtimes more fun? A really effective way of getting them interested in what they’re eating is to involve them in the meal preparation by making it more of an activity and something they will look forward to. We’ve come up with some fun and healthy meal ideas for you to try out and see the difference!

  • Homemade pizzas: If you don’t fancy making a mess in the kitchen by making the dough by hand, why not buy some small pizza bases and get the kids to help top them? Think brightly coloured toppings like peppers, pineapple and spinach leaves to help pack in the nutrients.
  • Wraps: Another meal that your kids can get completely stuck into by making it their own, why not try fajitas with different vegetables for them to get creative?
  • Meatballs and burgers: Always a winner at home, and even more satisfying when made by hand! Involve the kids in rolling the meatballs or making burger patties, then add fresh salad on the top! Vegetarian or vegan? Try soy mince or have a go at falafel!

At The Italian Medical Centre, we can provide children’s services such as Paediatric nutrition, psychological support and medical advice to help support your children and ensure they get the best care and support.