Common Concerns during the Preschool Period

Promoting a Preschooler’s Nutritional Health

During the preschool period a child in not likely to have a ravenous appetite, thus, small food serving is ideal. However, the parents will tell the child beforehand that he or she is allowed to ask for more when they want to. Preschoolers tend to be hungry when they got home. They usually enjoy a snack. Parents should make snacks nutritious by serving fruit, cheese or milk rather than cookies and soft drink. Also, sugary foods may dull a child’s appetite for dinner that’s why nutritious snack is preferable.

  1. Mealtime should be happy and an enjoyable part of day not only for the preschooler but for every member of the family.
  2. Allow the child to prepare simple foods such as making a sandwich to strengthen initiative.
  3. Vitamins should not be given more than the recommended dose to prevent poisoning.
  4. For parents who are vegetarian, calcium, vitamin B12 and Vitamin D should be given as supplements.

Dressing

Except for the difficult buttons most 3 to 4 year old children can dress themselves. However, there may be conflict on what they will wear. The following are important considerations in promoting development of the preschooler in dressing:

  1. Children need the experience of choosing their own clothes. Usual problem when the child chooses his or her own clothes is mismatching. To solve this, parents should fold together matching shirts and pants so a child sees them as a set rather than individual pieces.
  2. If the child insists on wearing mismatched clothes, the parent should NOT make an apology for the child’s appearance.

Sleep

Preschoolers are aware of the need to sleep when tired. The following are some important considerations in promoting development of the preschooler’s sleep:

  1. Late afternoon naps may result to difficulty going to sleep at the established usual bedtime schedule.
  2. Fear of the dark is one of the reasons why preschoolers refuse to sleep. Thus, it is imperative that bedrooms night lights are turned on.
  3. Nightmares and night terrors reach it peak during this period that result to night waking. Thus, a night light should be left turned on.
  4. Frightening stories and watching TV before bedtime should be screened out to prevent nightmares.
  5. Familiar bedtime routines should be continued.

Care of Teeth

Independent tooth brushing should be practiced during the preschool years.  This habit is generally well accepted by preschoolers because it imitates adults.

  1. A child should continue to drink fluorinated water or receive a prescribed oral fluoride supplement if fluoride is not provided in the water supply.
  2. Parents should check that all tooth surfaces are cleaned. They should also floss the child’s teeth because the preschooler cannot perform this task by themselves.
  3. Children must be supervised when brushing the teeth and when an electric tooth brush is used. Electric tooth brush should not be used near a basin of water.
  4. To prevent tooth decay, children should be encouraged to eat apples, carrots, celery, chicken or cheese rather than candy or sweets.
  5. First dental visit should be made by 2 and a half (2 ½ ) years of age for evaluation of tooth formation.

image courtesy of nlm.nih.gov, savvymom.ca, nutrition.preschoolrock.com

 

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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