Many adults are determined to live a healthier life in the year to come but healthy resolutions for children should also be a thing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to talk to their children about healthy habits saying that the New Year’s resolutions could be a perfect start.
The AAP got over their heads and even issued some age-specific resolutions for children of all ages that parents can encourage them to put on their list of resolutions.
Pediatricians who have worked on the list have included the usual advice given to parents for the annual checkups of their kids. This means that besides making great resolutions they also serve as a reminder for parents.
Resolutions suggested by the AAP for preschoolers include being nice to their peers – especially those who look lonely or sad, wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating, cleaning up their toys and others like that.
For kids aged between 5 and 12 the list is more comprehensive, including more specific indications such as drinking soda only at special occasions, putting on sunscreen, finding a sport or an activity to practice at least three times a week, wearing a helmet when riding the bike, skateboard or scooter, wearing their seatbelt in the car. Besides these issues regarding the physical health, children in this age group are also advised to take care of their mental health and also of that of their peers by reporting bullying, not providing personal information to strangers and talking to an adult whom they trust if they feel stressed.
For teenagers over 13 AAP recommends resolutions which address the increased dangers that come with the higher exposure to social interactions. So besides aiming to eat healthy vegetables and fruits teenagers should aim to reduce their own exposure to violence of video games and TV, to help people in need, to find harmless ways to reduce stress such as exercising or reading and to talk with a trusted adult when faced with a difficult decision.
The AAP takes it forward, addressing issues like the love life and addictions, encouraging teenagers to set goals in this direction also, such as treating their dates with respect, try to stop the bullying by reporting it and not taking part in it, not making use of violence, resist the peer pressure when it comes to tobacco, alcohol and drugs, always use a seat belt and never text while driving.
Dr. Gayle Schrier Smith claims that by presenting children these healthy resolutions parents help their children realize that they can be responsible for their own wellness.
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