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Regular assessments of infants in the first year after delivery is a good mechanism to insure a proper start in the health management of the child. Visits to the doctor or well baby clinic should occur monthly for the first 6 months of life, at one year and 18 months, and yearly afterwards. Vaccinations can be given at 2,4,6,12, and 18 months at these visits. The infant's weight, length and head circumference can be measured and plotted on standard charts to monitor the growth over this period. Families should keep their own record of these figures in case there is a change in the continuity of care.

Developmental milestones are evaluated at these visits to determine if the expected changes have occurred in a timely fashion. Nutrition is discussed to advise on a reasonable timetable for progression of new foods.

The Rourke Baby Record is an evidence based infant/ child health maintenance guide that is Copyright 1998 Canadian Family Physician . Copies of this guide are available from McNeil Consumer Healthcare at 800-265-7323. It is a guide only but provides a concise summary of important issues arising over the first 5 years of life.

The most effective health maintenance that you can provide your child has to include the significant protection provided by a complete series of vaccinations against Polio, Pertussis, Diptheria, Haemophilus Influenza, Tetanus, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Hepatitis B. Every child from 1 month of age to adolescence should have a daily multiple vitamin preparation. Concern about dental development and maintenance also ranks very high  on the disease prevention list. The amount of Fluoride used for tooth decay prevention is dependent on the use of tooth paste that contains Fluoride and on the community water content of Fluoride. The community Public Health Unit should be able to give local recommendations.




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