EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The American academy of pediatrics has a message for parents on making 2024 a safe and healthy year for their families. 2024 is here and many Americans have set goals to improve themselves in the new year. Doctors at the American academy of pediatrics say now is a great time to think about family resolutions too.
Dr. Alok Patel says "If we look at statistics, the majority of news resolutions involve lifestyle, fitness, exercise, weight loss or mental health goals, and parents can incorporate all of those into their roles as parents." ABC medical contributor and pediatrician Dr. Alok Patel says resolutions can be simple checkbox items. Like making sure kids are up to date on vaccinations.
Dr. Alok Patel says "A large part of preventative pediatrics and parenting involves safety and keeping our kids away from harm and injury that can involve habits like making sure kids are properly crossing the street. they're wearing helmets when they're outside doing activities like skateboarding, skiing or riding a bike. And really easy One is making sure that car seats are installed properly and their children are not outgrowing them."
Parents can set family goals to create better digital habits like making sure media is age-appropriate and that it's not negatively affecting sleep. Dr. Alok Patel: "We want those growing kids to be away from screens for hours before bed, at least 3 hours. But if kids see us going to bed with our phones, what are they going to think?" Other goals to consider, making more time for activities like reading, cooking, and getting outside, making a family disaster kit to be prepared for emergencies and focusing on mental health.
Dr. Alok Patel says "I know so many parents who make a goal of exercising more and they get appointments with personal trainers and everyone celebrates that. That's awesome. We should also celebrate people making appointments with therapists and parents exercising their mental health as well. It's just as important because the better you are at taking care of your own mental health, the more present you'll be for your kids." For kids' mental health, Dr. Alok Patel says parents can teach their children meditation, breathing techniques, or the importance of gratitude by each family member simply saying what they are grateful for each day.