Child's Routine Checkup, 18 Months: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

You may be wondering where your co-operative baby went. Children at this age are quick to say "No!" and slow to do what is asked. Your child is learning how to make decisions and how far he or she can push limits. This same bossy child may be quick to climb up in your lap with a favourite stuffed animal. Give your child kindness and love. It will pay off soon.

At 18 months, your child may be ready to throw balls and walk quickly or run. He or she may say several words, listen to stories, and look at pictures. Your child may know how to use a spoon and cup.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Safety

  • Help prevent your child from choking by offering the right kinds of foods and watching out for choking hazards.
  • Watch your child at all times near the street or in a parking lot. Drivers may not be able to see small children. Know where your child is and check carefully before backing your car out of the driveway.
  • Watch your child at all times when he or she is near water, including pools, hot tubs, buckets, bathtubs, and toilets.
  • For every ride in a car, secure your child into a properly installed car seat or booster seat that meets all current safety standards. Use a car seat or booster seat that is made for their weight and height. For questions about car seats and booster seats, call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit the Government of Canada Child Safety webpage at www.canada.ca/en/services/transport/road/child-car-seat-safety.html.
  • Make sure your child cannot get burned. Keep hot pots, curling irons, irons, and coffee cups out of his or her reach. Put plastic plugs in all electrical sockets. Put in smoke detectors and check the batteries regularly.
  • Put locks or guards on all windows above the first floor. Watch your child at all times near play equipment and stairs. If your child is climbing out of his or her crib, change to a toddler bed.
  • Keep cleaning products and medicines in locked cabinets out of your child's reach. Keep the number for your local or provincial poison control centre on or near your phone.
  • Tell your doctor if your child spends a lot of time in a house built before 1976. The paint could have lead in it, which can be harmful.
  • Help your child brush his or her teeth every day. For children this age, ask your doctor or dentist if it's okay to use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Discipline

  • Teach your child good behaviour. Catch your child being good and respond to that behaviour.
  • Use your body language, such as looking sad, to let your child know you do not like his or her behaviour. A child this age may misbehave 30 times a day.
  • Do not spank your child.
  • If you are having problems with discipline, talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to help your child.

Feeding

  • Offer a variety of healthy foods each day, including fruits, well-cooked vegetables, low-sugar cereal, yogurt, whole-grain breads and crackers, lean meat, fish, and tofu. Kids need to eat at least every 3 or 4 hours.
  • Do not give your child foods that may cause choking, such as nuts, whole grapes, hard or sticky candy, or popcorn.
  • Give your child healthy snacks. Even if your child does not seem to like them at first, keep trying. Buy snack foods made from wheat, corn, rice, oats, or other grains, such as breads, cereals, tortillas, noodles, crackers, and muffins.

Immunizations

  • Make sure your baby gets all the recommended childhood vaccines. They will help keep your baby healthy and prevent the spread of disease.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are concerned that your child is not growing or developing normally.
  • You are worried about your child's behaviour.
  • You need more information about how to care for your child, or you have questions or concerns.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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