(Family Features) As the year comes to a close, the weather gets colder and indoor festivities ramp up. Keeping children and their families healthy during the holidays should be a priority for everyone.
“While gathering with friends and loved ones is an exciting and important part of the holiday season, staying healthy should still be on top of your ‘to-do’ list,” said Drs. Tress Goodwin and Joelle Simpson, KinderCare medical advisors. “Simple actions can be some of the most effective at keeping everyone healthy to ensure this season is a joyous one.”
Consider these five tips from KinderCare’s medical experts to keep in mind throughout the holidays.
- Wash hands regularly. One of the simplest ways to prevent germ spreading is to wash your and your children’s hands often using soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Try to remember to wash your hands after leaving public places, before eating and after any diaper change or restroom visit. If someone in your home is not feeling well, wash your hands more often.
- Share joy, not germs. Try to distance yourself from anyone who is sick (like those with coughs and colds) and avoid close contact with others when you or your child are sick. Encourage children to cough or sneeze into their elbows if no tissues are available. As a good at-home practice, regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as toys, cabinet and doorknobs, counters and tabletops.
- Keep meals well-balanced. Offer a healthy snack before holiday treats or make healthier versions of holiday favorites. Consider healthy snack options like fresh vegetables, fruits and dip, dried fruits, nuts or roasted sweet potatoes that can boost immunity for children and help balance out sugary treats. It’s also important to remember to eat healthy portion sizes and encourage children to listen to their bodily cues for hunger and fullness. Avoid juices or other sugary drinks and encourage children to drink plenty of water.
- Schedule personal time and get plenty of rest. Festivities can be merry but also overwhelming, especially for young children. Loud music, bright lights, lots of people and changes in schedules can leave them feeling overstimulated, which can lead to emotional outbursts. Make sure to leave some time in your week for simple joys, like cuddling up to read a book together or quiet play with immediate family members, so children have a chance to step out of the hustle and bustle. Remember holidays are meant to be fun, not stressful. While it may be tempting to pack every day with fun-filled activities, try to maintain children’s routines, including nap and bedtime schedules.
- Stay active. No matter what the weather is like, kids still need time to be physically active. Indoor play can be just as effective as time spent on the playground. Get creative with at-home winter fun with activities like dance parties, scavenger hunts and kids’ yoga. You can also visit indoor locations such as malls and museums to get those legs moving.
For more information or tips on holiday eating, indoor exercise and keeping children safe during the holidays, visit KinderCare.com.