Everyone knows that parents should practice what they preach – whether it’s to do with behaviour, work ethics, eating well or living a healthy lifestyle – if children see the adults in their lives acting in a certain way, chances are they will most likely follow suit.
This is particularly true for young children which is why it is vital for parents to show them how important it is to look after their health from an early age – as the sooner they start, the more likely it will become a way of life for them.
Throughout the Pfizer Health Town initiative, the people of Tullamore will be ensuring their families are getting as much exercise as possible, eating a healthy diet and generally looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.
Sarah O'Doherty, a child clinical psychologist will be in Tullamore on September 25th to give a public talk on Modern Parenting, an event that promises plenty of down to earth advice along with valuable psychological insights based on the latest research. "Parents are beginning feel de-skilled in their role but when it comes to parenting there really are just a few very simple rules, and I will be talking about these at the event." she said.
Rose Finlay of Finlay pharmacy in Tullmore says promoting family health is something which is central to her practice and she would encourage anyone who wants a little kick-start to visit the pharmacy where they will receive advice and support.
We should all be more conscious of our blood pressure, weight, diet, physical fitness as well as knowing about our cholesterol and mental health
“We are always promoting good family health - be it boosting the immune system, improving energy levels, giving advice on weight loss, improving self-esteem or using cosmetics and achieving a good skincare routine,” she says.
Finlay will also take part in the evening event on September 25th September, and will cover a range of issues with an added focus on head lice treatment. as of the Healthy Town programme.
The experienced pharmacist says families should have an awareness of their state of health, be educated in terms of nutrition, mental health, stress-management, parenting and physical fitness.
“We should all be more conscious of our blood pressure, weight, diet, physical fitness as well as knowing about our cholesterol and mental health,” she says. “Simple adjustments can make a real difference to our health and the health of our children.
The HSE says a huge part of good family health is exercise and there are also plenty of other benefits of getting active as a family.
“Exercising as a family means time poor parents get an opportunity to get moving while the children burn off all that excess energy and everyone will enjoy spending time together,” says a spokeswoman.
“Research shows that children whose parents are active are more than five times as likely to be active than those whose parents are not. And according to HSE Get Active Ireland, physical activity helps parents and children in so many different ways including:
- It reinforces family bonds
- Establishes a lifetime of habit of being active
- Provides extra motivation and support
- Maintains healthy body weights
- It's a healthy way to reduces stress
- Improves quality of life
- Gives you more energy
- Helps you sleep better
- Builds family traditions
- And it's fun to do things together
Dr Sumi Dunne, clinical lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) says a good diet is also essential to maintain a healthy family and should provide all the nutrition we need.
"I would encourage people to minimise pre-packaged foods and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – simply have a healthy, balanced and varied diet.
“Other ways to keep families healthy is to keep moving – this can be difficult in winter but going for walks or to the swimming pool are good family options and there are lots of great exercise videos on You Tube which cost nothing.
“And lastly, another important thing to remember as the winter sets in is that handwashing will help with airborne viruses such as rhinovirus which are implicated in common cold.”
Rose Finlay will be hosting free blood pressure and asthma clinics throughout the coming months and says both of these are also important to good family health.
“People are welcome to come in and get their blood pressure measured for free as often as they like in our take-care clinics which run all year round,” she says. “This is for anyone - those on blood pressure medication and those who are just concerned about their blood pressure and they can relax in the pharmacy consultation room for 5-10 minutes before we take a reading.
“The Asthma take-care clinic will run every Tuesday throughout the Healthy Town initiative. Here we help you to understand and manage your asthma (or your child’s). We will go through your different inhalers and medication for asthma, and look at when they should be used and the correct technique for using different inhalers.
“Myself and my team are here to advise families on good health and many other ailments to keep the whole family well mentally and physically.”
Modern Parenting: Clinical child psychologist Sarah O'Doherty and pharmacist Rose Finlay will give public talks on Monday 25th September starting from 6.30pm in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore.
For more, see www.facebook.com/HealthyTownIreland