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It is the season for holiday festivities and family gatherings, so do your part to make sure your family stays in good health. Brighten the holidays by making family health and safety a priority.

Follow these family-friendly tips for a healthy December:

Stay active. Often, cold weather will keep us indoors. Do your best to stay active for at least 2½ hours every week and help kids and teens to be active for at least 1 hour a day. When we get mild weather days, get the family outside to enjoy some active time together. Even a short walk can do wonders for everyone.

Choose better snacks. Bring along your own healthy snacks when you are busy during the holiday season. Snacking smart will help you to avoid excess calories. In addition, many healthy snacks are good for the teeth. For example, nuts and apples are easy to take along wherever you go, and they are also beneficial for your body and teeth.

Stay hydrated.  In a sugary dessert-filled season, drinking water can help to wash away sticky residue when you cannot brush your teeth. Staying hydrated also helps to fight off colds and flu. Drinking water is an important step towards good health.

Wash and wipe away germs. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds after being anywhere in public. If you are traveling via bus or airplane and you expect to be in crowded spaces, bring disinfecting wipes for armrests and tray tables. If you are staying in a hotel, it is always a good idea to wipe door handles, light switches, and the TV remote also.

Reduce stress. The holiday season can be stressful, especially for busy parents. Remember to take time for yourself, and slow things down when you can. Spend some quiet time with a good book or treat yourself to a massage. Holidays will be more enjoyable if you reduce stress.

Parents, please do not drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Do not risk your family’s safety.

Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so be cautious with fireplaces, space heaters, candles, and lighted Christmas trees. Do not leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly, especially with the kids.

The entire team at Brier Creek Pediatric Dentistry wishes you and your loved ones a very healthy and happy holiday season. To start the New Year off right, schedule an appointment for you child. Call us at (919) 806-0200.