The anticipation for the end of the school year has finally arrived. The freedom from homework, the thought of sleeping late and the hopes for some good summer fun lingers in the minds of our children. When gearing up for this summer keep in mind some of these healthy tips for your child.
- The combination of late sleeping teens and working parents brings a concern for skipped morning tooth brushing. Even if it seems childish, a brushing chart or daily check list should be utilized so that parents can be assured that their independent child is keeping their teeth healthy and decay free.
- Keep the kids active. Too much free time can lead to sitting around watching TV or playing video games. Being inactive, plus eating extra snacks while sitting around being ‘bored’ can potentially cause weight gain and tooth decay. If needed, limit electronics time by utilizing a chart or ticket system.
- Give your child healthy snack options. Utilize a snack drawer that offers portioned containers of healthy options for hungry kids. Keep washed fruit in a bowl that is visible and easily accessible. Vegetables that are washed and cut-up make for another healthy and fast snacking option.
- Trade in the sports drink for water. When sending your child off to sports camps or games, trade in the expensive sports drinks for water. Sports drinks contain sugar and every sip leads to an acid attack in the mouth. (When sugar combines with tooth plaque a 20 minute acid attack is produced. Every sip is an additional 20 minute acid attack.) Keep water containers available for your child to utilize during their sporting events to reduce tooth decay and to save money.
- Bring a mouthguard when heading off to sports camp or games. Mouthguards lessen the risk of oral injuries by providing stability to the teeth and jaw if a blow to the area would occur. Over the counter mouthguards provide effective protection at a nominal fee.
- Keep water available as the main source of rehydration. Instead of sugary drinks and juices, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for your kids to drink throughout the day.
- The fundamental secret to summer fun is MODERATION! Summer is a great time for children to enjoy popsicles and ice cream on hot summer days, and s’mores around the fire at night. It’s also the time of year when parents of underactive kids hear those infamous words “I’m bored!” Remember that food choices and activities are all fun and acceptable when in moderation.