Tis the Season to Be Healthy: A Guide to Keeping Your Child Safe & Healthy This Holiday Season

cookies-xmasWith the holiday season upon us, here are some important tips to think about for a safe and healthy holiday season.

Check with your pediatrician to make sure your child has received his or her flu shot for the 2017-2018 season.

Keep in mind age appropriate gifts and toys. Games and toys with small parts or batteries should not be gifted to children under three since they are choking hazards.  You may even want to consider the ages of siblings in the house, since there is a good chance that a new crawler or walker could easily get ahold of an older siblings’ new toy.

Decorate safely. If you have a live tree, place it away from fireplaces and heaters, and keep a fire extinguisher close by. Live trees are highly flammable, so don’t forget to keep it hydrated as well.  If you do buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.  Also, if you have little ones at home, it is important to place all glass ornaments out of reach and secure the tree so it will not topple over if pulled on. Lastly, turn off all lights when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.

Celebrate safely. Keep candles on a sturdy base to prevent tipping. Never leave a lit candle unattended.

Continue a healthy sleep schedule. Kids often have slightly altered sleep schedules during the holidays due to vacation and other factors. It is best to continue a sleep schedule as close to their typical routine as possible so that they get an adequate amount of sleep each night.  This will ensure an easy transition back to school when vacation is over.

Keep an eye on the number of holiday treats. It is very easy to get carried away with the number of holiday goodies that kids consume during the next couple weeks.  While some indulging is to be expected, it is important that they still strive for a healthy and balanced diet each day.  Encourage a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day prior to indulging in an extra piece of chocolate or two!

Get up and move around!  Of course it’s cold out, and we’re all so busy, which can make it a little trickier to fit in our daily exercise at this time of the year.  Now’s the time to get creative with exercise! Have a holiday music dance party, bundle up and get outside for a walk in the snow, or just play a game of Simon Says! Even 30 minutes a day has been proven to improve your cardiovascular health.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Lauren Kupersmith, MD, is a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone Huntington Medical Group.

Author: Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone

At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we understand that caring for infants, children, and teenagers is a special privilege. That’s why we partner with our young patients and their families to offer expert medical and surgical care. Our specialists treat children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious issues at locations throughout the New York metropolitan area.