How to Keep your Kids Healthy During the Holidays
The holiday season is here. For kids, that means time off school, extra sweets and visits with extended family. For parents, those things can all add up to kids who are more susceptible to viruses and sickness.
Having a sick child over the holidays can turn everyone in your house into a humbug. There are, however, steps you can take to ensure that the only things your kids get this holiday, are their favorite gifts. Here’s how:
Take preventative measures – One of the best ways to keep you and your children healthy during the holiday season is to take preventative measures. An easy way to do that is for the whole family to get flu shots.
The CDC recommends that infants over 6 months as well as anyone living with or caring for someone younger than 5 years, be vaccinated with an influenza shot.
Along with flu shots, be sure to have your children take kids a daily vitamin and get plenty of vitamin C to prevent colds. Oranges are a great natural source of vitamin C as well as spinach.
Make Hand Washing a Priority – Getting kids into the habit of washing their hands before meals will help them remember to do so even when you are not around.
During the holidays, hand washing is especially important when visiting new places and interacting with new people.
You can also provide your kids (and their classrooms) with hand sanitizer to use throughout the day for the times when they can’t wash.
It seems obvious but this is a great way to keep your kids healthy.
Get Enough Sleep– When your kids don’t get enough sleep, they are more susceptible to picking up coughs and colds. During holiday vacation, it can be difficult to keep your kids on a regular schedule and to enforce early bedtimes.
It’s important to ensure that they are getting enough sleep. If they stay up late for a holiday gathering, be sure they make up for lost sleep by either by taking a nap, or sleeping in later the next day.
Watch the junk food – The holiday season is synonymous with sugary sweets. From Christmas cookies, to gingerbread houses, to fruitcake, some of the season’s best memories involve junk food.
While these things can be fine in moderation, more often than not, kids can go overboard. In addition to stomach aches, eating too much junk food means your child isn’t getting enough foods rich in vitamins and minerals, two keys to building up a healthy immune system.
Keep healthy snack foods on hand during holiday gatherings and be sure to remind your kids to eat their sweets in moderation.
Minimize stress – For children who are used to a routine, the holidays can be a stressful time, especially if they see their parents stressing out over everything from what to wear to a holiday party, to how to handle hosting guests.
Do your best to keep your children on a set schedule similar to the one they are on the rest of the year. Regular meals and bedtimes can help facilitate this.
Stay Active – Whether you take your kids on a spin around your local ice rink, dance to holiday music around the house or walk your neighborhood to see holiday lights, it’s important to keep your kids active during their holiday break.
Not only does activity help kids fend off sickness, studies have shown it helps them do better in school.
Kristy Hessman is a freelance writer who blogs for yoursash.com, a leading provider of graduation sashes and graduation stoles.She wants to help everyone keep your kids healthy this holiday season.