The holiday season has arrived, and parents everywhere anticipate the flurry of celebrations, activities, and plentiful downtime. While the gifts of holiday cheer and great memories may be exciting, don’t forget one of the best intangible gifts you or your loved ones can have: health. No less than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide some tips that you should keep in mind:
Watch the kids.
Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep a watchful eye on your kids when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids’ reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking. Make sure toys are used properly. Develop rules about acceptable and safe behaviors, including using electronic media.
Eat healthy, and be active.
With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Limit fats, salt, and sugary foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Aside from their safety, nutrition, and activity, the biggest concerns in keeping children healthy over the holidays would be their rest and risks of catching infections. It’s particularly more challenging if you have kids and teens who are more independent (which means more often than not, you can’t watch over them.) Learn from some handy Littleton pediatrics tips to help to manage those challenges:
Mind their bedtime
It’s easy to get distracted with all the festivities, which may lead to your kids not having enough rest. While naps can help in refueling energy, nothing beats the benefits they can have from a good night’s sleep. Make sure your kids have at least 8½ to 9 hours of shuteye every night for a strong immunity and a good defense against stress.
Promote proper hygiene
Wherever they eat or go to parties this season, encourage your kids to practice proper hand washing and to check the cleanliness of food and drinks. Aside from strengthening your immunity, this helps in keeping infections at bay as much as possible.
Have infections or accidents treated promptly
Since it’s the cold season, catching a bug may sometimes be unavoidable, and the icy, slippery streets and play areas can be a breeding ground for injuries, too. A Littleton pediatrician, such as the doctors of Focus on Kids Pediatrics, can examine and treat the child, so he/she can get back to enjoying the holidays in no time.
(Source: Holiday Health and Safety Tips, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Date, 2014)