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January Topic | Caring for Babies | What Can Children Do?

Our January topic is Caring for Babies & Young Children. The 100 Health Messages for Children to Learn and Share are simple, reliable health education messages aimed at children aged 8-14, this includes young adolescents aged 10-14. We feel that it is especially useful and important to make sure that young adolescents are informed as this age group often care for young children in their families. Also, it’s important to recognise and praise the work they are doing to help their families in this way. The messages are arranged as 10 messages in 10 key health topics: Malaria, Diarrhoea, Nutrition, Coughs, Colds & Pneumonia, Intestinal Worms, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Immunisation, HIV & Aids, Accidents & Preventing Injuries and Caring for Babies & Young Children. The simple health messages are for parents and health educators to use with children at home, in schools, clubs and clinics.

Our messages on Caring for Babies & Young Children:

  1. Play games, cuddle, talk, show, laugh and sing to babies and young children as much as you can.
  2. Babies and young children become angry, afraid and tearful easily & can’t explain their feelings. Always be kind.
  3. Young children learn fast: how to walk, make sounds, eat and drink. Help them but let them make safe mistakes too!
  4. All girls and all boys are as important as each other. Treat everyone well especially children who are sick or who have disabilities.
  5. Young children copy the actions of those around them. Look after yourself, behave well near them & show them good ways.
  6. When young children cry, there’s a reason (hunger, fear, pain). Try to find out why.
  7. Help prepare young children for learning at school by playing number and word games, painting or drawing. Tell them stories, sing songs and dance.
  8. In a group, watch and record in a notebook how a baby grows into a toddler and when they do important ‘firsts’ like speak, walk & talk.
  9. Prevent diseases by helping adults and older siblings to check that babies & young children are clean (especially hands and faces), drink safe water & eat enough good food.
  10. Give loving care to babies & young children but don’t forget about yourself. You are important too!
These health messages have been reviewed by expert health educators and medical experts and are available on the Heath ORB website too.
Three children stand together, the child on the left is carrying a fourth child.

What can children Make, Do & Ask to better understand this topic?

Here are some ideas for activities children can do to understand more about our January topic and share the messages with others.

  • MAKE our own messages on CARING FOR BABIES & YOUNG CHILDREN in our own words and our own language!
  • MEMORISE the ten messages so we never forget them!
  • SHARE the messages with other children and our families!
  • DIVIDE into groups of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’; have boys play ‘girls games’ and girls play ‘boys games’. Afterwards, have both groups discuss the games. For example, do you agree with the games being called BOYS or GIRLS games? Why or why not?
  • MAKE posters to show others what we know about this topic.
  • ORGANISE Toy-Making Competitions like mobiles, rattles, building blocks, dolls, animals and picture books at home, in school or community groups.
  • MAKE drawings and posters to show simple steps to prevent disease like washing hands with soap and eating a balanced diet.
  • MAKE a short play about caregivers playing with young children. They can play out the dialogue between two mothers; one who believes young children should be kept quiet and one who believes in having fun! Mime/act out an emotion/feeling only with gestures and face expressions. Other children guess what the feeling or emotion is.
  • ASK parents and grandparents why and what makes babies cry and laugh and share with the class what they find out.
  • A class or group can ADOPT A BABY from the local community. The mother visits the group each month to share how baby is growing.
  • MAKE up a song to describe simple steps to prevent diseases like keeping clean and drinking safe water, and sing them at home with their younger siblings.
  • OLDER children interview parents and ask what was most difficult for them when caring for their babies and young children and what helped them the most.
  • ASK a health worker or a science teacher to tell you more about how a baby’s brain grows. 
  • OLDER children can ask the elderly in the community to teach them songs, stories and games and sing songs for babies and younger children.
  • CHILDREN can ask adults what do they think it is important to do to prevent babies from getting diseases.

For more information on what children can do, make and ask or
to learn more about our January topic see Caring for Babies & Young Children!
For anything else, e-mail

A yellow circle with a baby wearing an orange top and blue nappy, they hold the hands of an adult to practice walking.