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Fill-in-the-Blank News Release
For County Health Departments

10 Tips for Healthier Kids in the New Year

For Release: (Date)
Contact: (Administrator)
_____ County Health Department
(Phone #)

10 Tips for Healthier Kids in the New Year

It’s the start of a New Year and a new millennium. There’s no better time than now to take a new outlook on life and find ways to stop bad habits while practicing some healthy ones. The _____ County Health Department has the following suggestions for parents to help improve their children’s health:

  1. Read to your children every day beginning by about age 6 months. Reading to children teaches communication and encourages them to read and discuss issues on their minds.
  2. Do a "childproofing" survey of your home. Look at your home from a child’s viewpoint to remove poisons, small objects, sharp edges, knives and firearms from the reach of children.
  3. Provide your child with a tobacco-free home environment. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of getting ear infections, colds, sore throats, and asthma. If you smoke, try to quit, or at least do not smoke around children.
  4. Practice "safety on wheels." Make sure everyone in the car wears a seat belt or is in an age-appropriate child car safety seat. All bikers, skaters, and skateboarders should wear helmets.
  5. Prevent violence by setting good examples. Use non-physical forms of discipline and remember that words can hurt too.
  6. Make sure immunizations are up to date. Check with your health care provider to make sure hepatitis vaccine series, MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and chickenpox vaccines are up to date.
  7. Monitor your children’s "media." Monitor what your children see and hear on television, in movies, and in music. Talk to your children about "content" and redirect your child to more suitable programming if you feel that certain media are inappropriate.
  8. Become more involved in your child’s school and your child’s education. Visit your child’s school and be active in the parent-teacher organization or volunteer for special projects. If your child’s education is important to you, it will be important to him.
  9. Pay attention to nutrition. Nutrition makes a big difference in how kids grow, develop and learn. Provide foods from several food groups at each meal and offer foods that are less processed, such as whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. Ask your health care provider for suggestions.
  10. Make your children feel loved and important. Children develop a sense of self-worth early in life from their parents. Listen to what your children say, and assure them that they are loved and safe. Hug your children every day and tell them they are special and what you admire about them.

For more healthy children ideas and parenting tips, contact the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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