The American Academy of Pediatrics Celebrates the Holidays with 12 Tips to Keep Families Joyful This Season
No one wants to spend the holidays in a crabby mood – or in an emergency room. Pediatricians have you covered with some helpful advice.
Holidays entice the senses with colorful festivities, aromatic meals and family togetherness, but they can also evoke sadness, anxiety or agitation when there is just a little too much of a good thing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some tips this season to help parents preserve the magic and beauty of winter holidays while keeping children safe and healthy.
“With a thoughtful approach, families can avoid some of the holiday frenzy, and focus on what is meaningful to them,” said Benjamin Hoffman, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. “We know that children take their cues from their parents. By taking a step back and slowing down, parents can model better ways to cope with excitement and stress and enjoy some quality time together.”
AAP offers 12 top health and safety tips for families to consider:
- Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can. It’s not always possible when you are juggling the demands of shopping, cooking and travel, but maintaining household routines will help ward off tantrums and maintain holiday cheer.
- Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. Children sense the emotional well being of their parents and caregivers, and if you cope with stress successfully, your children will learn how to do the same.
- Don’t feel pressured to overspend on gifts. Consider helping your child make one or two gifts. The chances are these will be the gifts most treasured by a parent, grandparent or special adult.
- Participate in a volunteer activity and include your child, whether it’s helping serve a holiday meal at a local food bank or shelter or writing letters to members of the armed forces who can’t be home for the holidays.
- Toys don’t need to be expensive or electronic to make great gifts, but they should be suited to the child’s age, abilities, skills and interest level. Be cautious about toys that contain button batteries or magnets, which can be swallowed by small children and cause serious internal damage. For more help with toy safety, go here.
- Speaking of toys, if you are considering a digital device for a child or a teen, such as a tablet, smartphone or game system, think about the purpose of the device and the rules you want to set around its use. AAP offers a family media planning tool here.
- Cooking with children can be a great way to bond over a family recipe and offer a sense of accomplishment to budding chefs. Be sure to follow food safety guidelines, wash hands frequently and keep hot foods and liquids away from the counter’s edge. More kitchen safety tips are here.
- When decorating, watch for fire hazards. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “Fire Resistant,” and if it’s live, make sure it’s fresh and not losing too many needles. Keep it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling pieces. Find more tips on decorating safely here.
- When visiting friends or family, remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators. When visiting others or hosting guests, make sure that any medications are stored safely away from curious kids. Pay special attention to narcotics and other prescription medications.
- After a holiday party, clean up immediately. A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come into contact with alcohol, tobacco or vaping products.
- Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are- time to enjoy your family. Find ways to spend time together, whether it’s on a sled outdoors or over a board game or good picture book.
HealthyChildren.org, the AAP website for parents, offers tips on traveling with an infant during the holidays here.
Heart-healthy eating is healthy eating.
There’s a good read from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia here. Recommended if you are trying to modify an elevated cholesterol level.
Here’s the Basics:
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Limit highly processed foods.
Watch out for added sugar.
Keyword search this blog with “nutrition” for more information and ideas.
Flu Vaccines 2019-2030 Season
- Flu injection for 6 months to 3 years: in stock
- Flu injection for 3 years and older: in stock.
Flumist nasal spray is recommended and available this year. Offered for 2 years and older: in stock.
Please call to schedule an appointment. We schedule them throughout the day and can often accommodate same day requests.
We are offering flu shots for parents with PPO and POS insurance.
HMO parents should contact their physician or plan for immunization options.
Sign up for vaccine stock updates @casaverdepeds
Read why to get a flu vaccine HERE
Vaccines for Children Program
Children with Blue Cross through Children’s First Medical Group or Contra Costa Health Plan receive their shots through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
VFC Flu Vaccines 2019-2020 Season
- Flu injection for 6 months and older: Expected in September-October
- Flu injection for 3 years and older: Limited supplies, more expected.
Posted in 101, Babies!, Children, Flumist. nasal flu vaccine, Immunization, influenza, influenza vaccine, Medicine, Pediatric Bits, Teddy, Wellness
We had fun making this unboxing video in a single take before office hours with one goof: the instrument is called an otoscope, not an ophthalmoscope.
Read more about ear wax here.
Spring 2009: lengthening days, green hills, and a swine flu epidemic.
H1N1 influenza made its appearance a decade ago. From April 2009 to April 2010, there were over 60 million cases, a quarter million hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths in the United States. Through a coordinated public health effort, our office had vaccine to administer that fall.
We acknowledged our staff who worked hard to get the vaccine to patients.
Celebrate this milestone in public health readiness by scheduling your flu shot for this year.
Read more about the national response here.
Posted in Health Care, Immunization, influenza, influenza vaccine, Medicine, Pediatric Bits, Wellness
Tagged Dr Lisa Asta, influenza, Lisa Asta, Lisa Asta MD, pediatrician, Pediatrician John Muir Medical Center, Pediatrician Walnut Creek, pediatrics, vaccination
Staying Healthy in the Heat 101
It’s hot! Here are some links for more information on staying well when playing or competing in the heat.
Protect Your Children from Extreme Heat from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Heat Related Sports Illnesses
Is it too hot to play?
Check what the experts recommend based on temperature and humidity on the PDF chart in the blog post.
Never Leave Your Child in the Car
Posted in 101, Babies!, Children, Health Care, Medicine, Pediatric Bits, Simply Safe, Wellness
Tagged Dr. Asta, exercise, heat, heat exhaution, heat illness, heat stroke, Lisa Asta MD, Pediatrician John Muir Medical Center, Pediatrician Walnut Creek
The AAP July 2019
Buyers, be aware of baby safety
Social media sites such as Etsy and Pinterest have made it easier for small businesses to sell their work. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to keep safety in mind when buying or making homemade baby items.
Parents should steer clear of ingredients that can cause rashes and allergic reactions or items with small pieces that can cause babies to choke, suffocate or strangle.
Popular items include baby bath bombs, children’s sleepwear and clothing with buttons or drawstrings, toys with lead paint, handmade covers for unsafe infant sleep products, baby slings, infant necklaces, and pacifiers with small, glued-on decorations.
Report problems to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (https://www.saferproducts.gov) or the Food and Drug Administration (https://www.fda.gov/consumers). If you sell homemade products, find guidance at https://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education and https://www.fda.gov.
Love the California sun, but summer conditioning and competition can be tough.
Make sure your athlete hydrates with 8-10 ounces every 20 minutes.
Coaches, athletes and parents should monitor the heat index. The index sorts temperature and humidity into relative risk zones and you can see it here at Heat_and_Humidity. The colored zones indicate when parents, kids, coaches and players should exercise caution.
Committed athlete or contemplating jumping in? The pre-participation physical and well check gets it done. 🏀⚽️🥎⚾️🎾🏐🏉🥅🏒🥋🥍
More info and links from the American Academy of Pediatrics here.
Posted in 101, Children, Health Care, Play, sports, Volunteering, Wellness
Tagged American Academy of Pediatrics, Casa Verde Pediatrics, children, Dr Lisa Asta, Dr. Asta, health, Hill Physicians Medical Group, John Muir Physician Network, Lisa Asta MD, Pediatrician Walnut Creek, sports, Walnut Creek Pediatrician
Does your child have Anthem Blue Cross MediCal and needs mental health professionals for evaluation or counseling?
Please click Anthem.CFMG_Mental Health for information on connecting with your child’s insurance.