Pediatricians take pride that prevention is the backbone of their vocation. As we work with families to better the lives of their children, we emphasize preventive measures that are based on well-founded knowledge and have been shown to be effective in reducing harm to children. We have to be particularly careful in balancing guidance for a potential danger, without provoking undue anxiety and fear. One particular area is that of personal safety.
I heard somewhere, “the days are long and the years are short.” Well said as the New Year fast approaches. So it is time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new year. And, adults are not the only ones that can benefit from New Year’s Resolutions. Kids can too.
You can help your kids, even preschoolers, make their resolutions and encourage them to follow them through the year. It may also help you keep on track with your own resolutions as you encourage each other.
Dr. Faucher and Connor
Wearing a bike helmet is second nature to my kids. So much so that they often just leave them on to shoot baskets or play around the house. That’s probably not typical of most kids, but I’m a trauma surgeon and my wife is a nurse practitioner, so NOT wearing a safety helmet has NEVER been an option.
Last Spring, that “second nature” may have saved my son Connor from serious injury. Connor, who was 6 at the time, was riding bike with his older sister when she heard a crash behind her. (She told us the noise was “terrifying” to her.) When she stopped and turned around, she saw Connor on his back with blood all over his face. When she ran back to him, he didn’t respond at all. So she ran a block back to our house, to tell my wife.
Water activities can be great fun but water safety needs to be strictly observed. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should have swimming lessons, but even the most experienced swimmers need to be smart and pay attention while in the water. There are a few things you should do to ensure everyone remains safe while having fun in the water:
Close to home there are wonderful opportunities that can be available for little expense with some minor planning. Some of our family’s most fun and memorable times involved overnight camping at one of the many beautiful state and county parks close to home.
An overnight camping trip can be an adventure and provide lots of learning opportunities for kids. Gets the kids involved with planning for the trip. You can start with meals. What will you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner while you’re at your campsite? This is a great opportunity to talk about about healthy food choices, and find tasty alternatives to traditional snacks like potato chips.