New Year's tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
violence by setting good examples
Set limits for
your children by letting them know what's expected, and noticing when
they meet your expectations. Try to avoid hitting, slapping or spanking.
Your children may copy you and think that it is OK to hit other people.
sure immunizations are up to date
child's immunization record with your pediatrician. Make sure your child
is current on recommended immunizations.
Provide your child with a tobacco-free environment
tobacco smoke increases ear infections, chest infections, and even
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you smoke, consider quitting. Remember,
your child loves you and will copy you - if you smoke, your children may
grow up to be smokers, too. Make your home a smoke-free zone.
to your child every day
Start by the age
of 6 months. Reading to children shows them the importance of
communication and motivates them to become readers. It also provides a
context to discuss issues and learn what is on your child's mind.
"safety on wheels"
Make sure everyone
in the car is buckled up for every ride, with children in the back seat
in age-appropriate child safety seats. All bikers, skaters and
skateboarders should wear helmets and other appropriate sports gear.
a "childproofing" survey of your home
A child's-eye view
home survey should systematically go from room to room, removing all the
"booby traps" that await the curious toddler or preschooler.
Think of poisons, small objects, electrical outlets, sharp edges, knives
and firearms, and places to fall.
your children's "media"
Monitor what your
children see and hear on television, in movies, and in music. Children
are affected by what they see and hear, particularly in these times of
violent images. Talk with your children about "content." If
you feel that a movie or TV program is inappropriate, redirect them to
more suitable programming. Help Kids Understand Tobacco, Alcohol, and
the MediaHelp your teenager understand the difference between the
misleading messages in advertising and the truth about the dangers of
using alcohol and tobacco products. Talk about ads with your child. Help
your child understand the real messages being conveyed. Help direct your
child toward TV shows and movies that do not glamorize the use of
tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.
Pay attention to nutrition
Nutrition makes a
big difference in how kids grow, develop and learn. Good nutrition is a
matter of balance. Provide foods from several food groups at each meal.
Emphasize foods that are less processed, such as whole grain breads and
cereals and fresh fruits and vegetables. Review your child's diet with
your pediatrician for suggestions.
Become more involved in your child's school and your child's education
Visit your child's
school. Become active in the parent-teacher organization. Volunteer in
the classroom or for special projects. Be available to help with
homework. If your child's education is important to you, it will be
important to him.
your children feel loved and important
Kids develop a
sense of self-worth early in life. Listen to what your children have to
say. Assure them that they are loved and safe. Celebrate their
individuality, and tell them what makes them special and what you admire
Courtesy of the - American Academy of
Pediatrics and posted 12-23-04 on kidsgrowth.com