Holidays can be a magical time filled with joy, laughter and cherished family moments. Amidst the excitement, parents keep a watchful eye on their children’s well-being.
Kristen Sandoz, MD, pediatrician with Our Lady of Lourdes Children’s Health, shares her top three tips for families to keep kids healthy and safe during the holiday season.
1. Stick to a Routine: Balance Festivities with Structure
While the holidays often bring a break from the usual routine, it’s essential to strike a balance between celebration and maintaining structure. Children thrive on routine, finding comfort in the predictability of daily life.
Parents should be mindful not to completely abandon established bedtime and mealtime schedules.
Adequate sleep and wholesome nutrition contribute significantly to your child’s well-being. As tempting as it might be to extend bedtime for a special event, consider the potential consequences and strive to keep a consistent routine for a more enjoyable holiday experience.
2. Prioritize Hand Hygiene: A Simple Defense Against Illness
In the midst of holiday festivities, it’s easy to overlook the basics. Hand hygiene, however, remains a fundamental aspect of keeping your children healthy, especially during the colder months when illnesses are more prevalent.
Encourage your kids to wash their hands regularly, particularly before meals and after playing. This simple yet effective practice reduces the risk of illness transmission, helping to keep your family in good health throughout the holiday season.
3. Plan Ahead for Stress-Free Social Situations
The holiday season often involves bustling social gatherings, which can be overwhelming for some children.
To ensure a positive experience, have realistic expectations for your child’s behavior in crowded or unfamiliar settings. Observe their comfort levels and have a plan in place for a graceful exit if needed.
By anticipating potential stressors and having an exit strategy, you empower your child to enjoy social events without feeling overwhelmed. This proactive approach contributes to a more enjoyable and stress-free holiday season for the entire family.
ParentingU wishes you a holiday season of love and light and a healthy, happy New Year!