Even before the last piece of pumpkin pie has been consumed (and let’s be honest – these days, it’s more like – before the last piece of Halloween candy is handed out), it seems like holiday preparations are underway. But the reality of the holidays can be very different than the marshmallow world singers croon about.
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
There’s no doubt that the giving spirit of the season can lead to feeling financial pressure. The gift wish lists kids have written out are often filled with expensive items like video game consoles, tablets and more. But, rather than compromise your household budget, how do you help kids understand what’s realistic while still ensuring it’s another holiday for the memory books.
The holidays are a time for spending with family and friends, not rushing to the emergency room. Whether you’re preparing to decorate your own home, or going to visit relatives or friends, keep the following tips in mind to help everyone have a merry and safe holiday.
If you decorate a tree, avoid these top decorating mistakes:
- Decorate with children in mind. Do not put ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or candy, on the lower branches where small children can reach them.
- Keep the glass ornaments off the tree until children are older as they can be easily broken.
As families get ready to embark on holiday trips to visit relatives and loved ones, it’s a good time to review a few safety tips.
When Traveling by Car
Always use the appropriate car seat for infants and young children when riding in the vehicle:
- Infants should ride rear-facing for as long as their car seat allows, usually to about age 2 and 35 pounds. Riding rear-facing protects your child’s head, neck and spine.
- When children are ready to transition to a forward-facing seat, children should ride in a forward-facing seat with a 5-point harness for as long as possible, until they are at least 4 and 40 lbs. Consider using a harnessed booster to keep your child in a 5-point harness even longer.
All families have their own unique and often personal way of celebrating the holidays. Whether it is a special meal together, exchanging gifts or a celebration of blessings, the month is filled with a festive spirit. And while there may indeed seem to be a magic to the season, the reality is for some families it can be a difficult and challenging time. Financial struggles, a significant illness, loss of a loved one, or a divorce or separation can have profound effects on a family during a time of year that’s all about celebrations.
If your holiday is going to be different this year, how can you help your children navigate the sometimes difficult feelings that may accompany the changes?
Many families use the holiday season to teach their children about generosity and giving back to the community. Here are four simple ways your family can make a difference in the lives of the children and families at American Family Children’s Hospital.
In-kind donations (also known as the Child Life Wish List) are welcome at American Family Children’s Hospital all year long. Donated toys and gifts can provide distraction during a procedure or a clinic waiting area. They are also used to restock our playrooms, celebrate a birthday spent in the hospital or a completion of a treatment.