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  • It’s easy to lead a healthy life, let us count the ways! With a thousand things to worry about every day, it’s easy for parents to forget the most basic of things when it comes to your child’s health: not to overstuff their backpacks, to cut down on TV time, and slather on sun block. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of important numbers that puts together all your worries and their solutions at a glance.

    Did you know...

    5 is the number added to your child’s age to determine how much fiber he needs in a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A five-year-old, for example, needs about 10 grams of fiber a day, while a 10 year old needs 15 grams. Food items rich in fiber include whole grains such as corn and brown rice, fruits such as oranges and apples, and vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

    5 feet: the highest elevation preschoolers are allowed to climb in a playground. School-age kids are only allowed to climb up to 7 feet. The most common playground injury is falling from the monkey bars or ladders. So before letting your child reach for the sky, check out those bars!

    15 percent of your child’s total body weight should be the maximum weight of his backpack. If he is 80 pounds, for example, his backpack should weigh no more than 12 pounds. Having your child carry more than that could lead to neck, back, and shoulder pains as well as incorrect posture.

    15 of SPF: your child needs to stay protected under the sun—whether he is swimming or playing outdoors. Too much sun exposure could be very damaging. Keep them out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m when the sun is at its harshest.

    60 minutes: a two-year-old tot’s maximum TV time. It’s important for your child to have a balanced set of activities, says Feny Bautista, early childhood development specialist and executive director of Community of Learners School for Children in Quezon City. Playing with other kids helps develop his physical dexterity as well as interpersonal skills.

    39 degrees Celsius: the temperature reading that signals a call or visit to the pediatrician for
    babies six months old and up. Zenaida Villar, M.D., a family doctor at Villar Medical Clinic in Marikina City, says temperature usually rises in the late afternoon and early evening and falls by midnight and early morning. For babies below six months, the alarming temperature is 38 degrees Celsius. Observe your baby’s appetite and activity—or lack of it.

    15: the number of minutes pertaining to a child’s wind-down period before bedtime. During this time, his activities should be relaxing, not stimulating, says Aileen Sison, child psychologist at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan. It is very difficult to put a child to bed if he is still playing a few minutes before he is supposed to go to sleep.

    12 to 14 hours: the amount of sleep toddlers need in a day. Preschoolers need around 11 to 13 hours of shuteye. Getting the required hours of sleep is important in a child’s physical  development, says Sison. It also prevents him from being unfocused and irritable; these usually happen when a child lacks sleep.

    6 cups of water or fluids: the ideal amount to quench the thirst of 4- to 6-year-olds. Add two to three more glasses if they are actively playing on a warm day. Make water your tots’ all -day buddy to keep dehydration and constipation at bay.

    400: the number of milligrams of calcium a child should have every day. Laly Baraedo, M.D., chief of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City, says that quantity is enough to ensure the child’s healthy bone growth. One glass of milk contains 100 to 150 milligrams of calcium. Give your child at least two glasses of milk every day for strong bones.

    Keep these numbers in mind when it comes to your child’s health.

    ● Laly Baraedo, M.D., chief, Rehabilitation Medicine, Philippine Orthopedic Hospital, Quezon City
    ● Aileen Sison, child psychologist, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, San Juan; instructor, Methods and Psychological Testing, Mirriam College, Quezon City
    ● Feny Bautista, executive director, Community of Learners School for Children, New Manila, Quezon City
    ● Zenaida Villar, M.D., family doctor, Villar Medical Clinic, Marikina City

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