Establishing healthy behavior to prevent diseases is easier and more effective during childhood. Early childhood health promotion aims to keep children healthy with a focus on early interventions and program implementation for children (Inkelas & Oberklaid, 2018). During early childhood, there is significant growth and development that forms the foundation for future physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. Health promotion during this period enables increased control over the child’s health and it extends beyond individual behavior to include social and environmental interventions (Inkelas & Oberklaid, 2018). In early childhood, families need to follow a regular schedule for pediatric visits and consistently attend well-child checkups and appointments.
2 ½-Year-Old Treatment Plan
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide recommendations for childhood immunization and wellness checkups to promote the health of children. These immunizations start at birth and extend through adolescence to adulthood. For a child aged two and half years, they should have the following:
- DTaP vaccine. The child should have four doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccines to protect against diseases caused by the bacteria. According to the recommended guidelines, the child should receive the first DTaP dose at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third dose at 6 months, and the fourth dose at 15 months (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2021c).
- IPV. Inactivated polio vaccine is given to children starting from 2 months to protect against poliomyelitis. The first dose is administered at 2 months, the second at 4 months, and the third dose from 6 months to 18 months. Based on the history provided, the child should be given the third IPV dose.
- Hib vaccine. Hib protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b that is spread through air and direct contact. The CDC guidelines stipulate that it should be given at 2, 4, 6, and between 12 to 18 months.
- Hep B vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine is given at birth, 1 to 2 months, and between 6 to 18 months of age. The vaccine protects the child against hepatitis B that is spread through contact with blood or body fluids.
- Hep A vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine is given between the age of 12 and 24 months t protect the child against hepatitis A. It is recommended that an individual receive two doses for lasting protection with the second dosage given 6 months after the first dose (CDC, 2021c). Additionally, all children above 24 months who have not received the vaccine should be vaccinated.
- Varicella vaccine. The child should receive one dose of this vaccine to protect against chickenpox. The recommended age for this vaccine is 12 to 15 months while a second dose can be given between 4 to 6 years.
- PCV13. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria. The vaccine is given at the age of 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months.
- MMR vaccine. This vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Guidelines for vaccination stipulate that it should be given between 12 and 15 months while the second dose is given between 4 to 6 years.
- Influenza vaccine. Two doses of this vaccine are given four weeks apart from the age of six months for those receiving it for the first time.
The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional, and social development for a child. At the age of 2 to 3 years, a child should be able to follow simple directions, sort objects, imitate actions, and express a wide range of emotions (Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECKLC), 2021). The child will be observed moving around frequently and touching objects as they try to explore. At this age, the toddler should not be left around water without someone watching. Children can easily drown in pools, bathtubs, and whirlpools making it necessary to have someone watching the child (CDC, 2021b). The other safety tip is that the parent should be close when the child is eating and encourage an upright position to avoid choking. The parent should frequently check toys and other playing equipment for broken parts to avoid injury to the child. Children at this age can easily get burned because of sudden and rapid movements. The parent should avoid holding hot drinks while the baby is on the laps (ECKLC, 2021). During travels, make sure the child sits at the back and is buckled properly in the seat.
Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and improve their health. Parents can promote the health of two and half-year-old children by focusing on the aspects of nutrition, complementary medicine, dental health, sleep activity, and injury prevention (CDC, 2021b). The parent should give the child enough food with a variety of nutrients to maintain body function and promote growth and development. The immune system of the baby can be boosted by providing foods rich in vitamins including food supplements that may be necessary (Inkelas & Oberklaid, 2018). The use of educational games and toys is another practice that can promote mental health and improve the child’s cognition. Encouraging sleeping early and limiting the use of gadgets and televisions can promote the child’s mental well-being and growth.
Every day is an opportunity for the parents to nourish the child’s mind and body through small parenting acts that may count most. To preserve the wellness of a 2 and a half-year-old, the parent should encourage free play as much as possible to help the toddler stay active and strong (ECKLC, 2021). Giving the child a hug or a kiss can help boost their confidence and enable behavior change. Rewards can be an important part of the child’s life at this stage to encourage positive behavior. The parent’s presence at important or special happenings in the child’s life can be a means to boost confidence and demonstrate love.
6-Year-Old Treatment Plan
At the age of six years, the child should receive the following vaccines:
- DTaP vaccine. This vaccine provides protection against diphtheria, pertussis, and whooping cough (CDC, 2021c). The child will be given the 5th DTaP dose that is usually given for children between 4 and 6 years.
- IPV. At the age of six years, the child should be given the fourth dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine to provide immunity against poliomyelitis.
- MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. At six years, the child is due for the second MMR dose.
- Varicella vaccine. The vaccine protects against chickenpox with the second dose administered between the age of 4 and 6 years.
- Influenza vaccine. Flu shots are given each year to protect against viruses that cause influenza.
A 6-year-old falls under the class of middle childhood that brings many significant changes in a child’s life. At this age, children are able to dress themselves, catch a ball using their hands, create friends, and seek independence in the family. More physical ability and independence can put the child at risk for falls, accidents, and other injuries (CDC, 2021a). To ensure their safety, it is recommended to protect the child properly in the car. The child should be educated to watch out for traffic and other general safety measures when walking to school. Because of their independence, the child should be educated to be watchful when around water bodies like swimming pools. Teaching the child how to shout and ask for help is an important safety measure at this age. Household products that can be harmful should be kept out of reach by children (CDC, 2021a). Additionally, the child should be taught how to handle strangers and new friends to avoid adverse events like kidnapping.
Health promotion for middle-aged children should focus on areas like hygiene, nutrition, dental health, and sleep. The child should be encouraged to take a daily bath by themselves to promote good hygiene. The child should be encouraged to brush their teeth after meals to maintain oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay (CDC, 2021a). The parent should limit sugary foods like chocolate that can lead to dental problems. Because of the increased risk for dental problems, the parent should organize dental visits regularly (Inkelas & Oberklaid, 2018). The parents and providers should work with schools to limit access to fast foods, soft drinks, and solid fat that can be easily accessed. The child should sleep for 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours to promote recovery and growth.
Positive parenting is highly encouraged during the middle-school-age period. Show affection for the child and recognize accomplishments to promote the child’s confidence levels. The parent should help the child to set achievable goals and give rewards when the performance is excellent (Inkelas & Oberklaid, 2018). Getting involved in the child’s school life is critical to improving performance and protection. The child should learn that their parents are concerned about school work and this should include regularly asking them to complete assignments first. Ensuring the child has at least 1 hour of playtime and physical activity during the day is important for mental health (CDC, 2021a). Set limits for screen time and develop media use plans to avoid overreliance on modern technology. Avoid embarrassments especially in front of other people because it will affect the child’s confidence levels.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021a). Child development: Middle childhood (6-8 years of age).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021b). Child development: Toddlers (2-3 years of age).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021c). Immunization schedules: Table 1. Recommended child and adolescent immunization schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2021.
Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. (2021). Tips for keeping infants and toddlers safe: A developmental guide for home visitors – toddlers. https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/safety-practices/article/tips-keeping-infants-toddlers-safe-developmental-guide-home-visitors-toddlers
Inkelas, M., & Oberklaid, F. (2018). Improving preventive and health promotion care for children. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 7(1), 1-4.