Yes, the holiday season is upon us and before you know it, or actually it is a reality, there are Christmas decorations in stores already - and your kids haven't even unwrapped one piece of Halloween candy yet!
It is never too early to discuss safety and health when it comes to your family. Living healthy all year round should be a priority, but we all will let things slide at the holidays, it is just part of reality. (Maybe there are a few of you that are good all year round, congrats to you!) Especially for parents, it can be extremely difficult to get our teens eat healthy as well as learn the importance of being an offensive driver.
Many recognize that during the holidays there will be in increase in drunk driving accidents and deaths from these accidents. Whether you are 16 years-old or 60 years-old - drive safely. Put those cell phones away.
Here are six basic reminders for healthy living, especially during the holidays:
- Wash your hands often. There's lots of food being exchanged during the holidays. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important (and easy) steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands vigorously with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Get checkups and vaccinations. Don't let the holidays get in the way of important exams and screenings. If young children are scheduled to receive routine vaccinations, stay on schedule and don't put these off until after the holidays. Talk to your doctor about flu shots for you and your family.
- Manage stress. Remember, it's the holidays, and they are supposed to be fun. Keep a check on over-committing yourself. Plan quality time just for you and your family. Try to avoid overspending, which can cause unneeded stress during and after the festivities. Need help? Don't be afraid to ask others to pitch in!
- Eat healthy and be active. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting and not-so-healthy foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music.
- Travel safely. Don't drink and drive, and be sure to keep a watchful eye on guests to ensure they're not driving after drinking. If you are out and have had too much to drink, call 1-800-AAA-HELP and AAA's Tow-to-Go service will provide you a free tow and ride home. (Nov. 24-Jan. 2)
- Handle and prepare food safely. Avoid food-related illness by washing hands and work surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature and refrigerate promptly.
In Broward County, AAA has a location in Pembroke Pines. You can get your holiday attraction tickets and membership information there. Especially if you have a teen driver in the house, getting them an AAA Membership is an excellent gift (probably more for you, but it is worth the sense of relief when they break down and need a tow). A tow alone can sometimes cost up to $400.00. With AAA, you get three free tows a year and much more. Look into it today!
On a personal note, thankfully my son had his AAA card last weekend - when he lost his car keys! Between the locksmith and the tow, it didn't cost me anything (thanks to our AAA Membership).
Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens!