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New Year’s Resolutions Can Create Healthy Changes for Families
12/29/2008

KAUFMAN, Texas — Most adults go through the process of making New Year’s resolutions each December, but children and families also can set goals — and working together can help improve the likelihood of success.

“Goals for children can also lead to healthy habits for all family members and the support of the entire family is crucial to help children become healthier,” said Dr. Benjamin R. Brashear, a physician on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman, soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman. “The new year can be a great time to start new habits, regardless of the age of children.”

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children as young as preschoolers can set resolutions such as brushing their teeth twice a day, washing their hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

The AAP has these suggestions for children ages 5 to 12:

  • Drink milk and water, while limiting soda and fruit drinks
  • Find a sport or activity that they enjoy and can participate in at least three times a week, such as basketball, jumping rope, dancing, or playing tag
  • Wear their seatbelt every time they get in a car and sit in a booster seat until they are tall enough to use a regular seat belt

The AAP also says that teenagers should commit to:

  • Eating at least one fruit and one vegetable a day
  • Removing negative thoughts, such as “I’m so dumb,” out of their vocabulary
  • Finding positive ways to deal with stress, such as exercise, reading or talking problems out

“By setting goals as a family and including children in the process parents are setting their children up for a healthy lifestyle for many years to come,” Brashear said. “By cooking healthy meals and engaging in physical activity together families can build healthy habits and avoid the usual pitfalls of quickly forgotten resolutions.”

For more information, visit www.aap.org.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman
Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman, soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Kaufman, is a 91-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Kaufman and Henderson counties and the southern part of Dallas County since 1979. The hospital's services include women and infant care, wound care, diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, and pain management services. Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman has been recently recognized with the Pathway to Excellence hospital designation for distinction in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, please call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.texashealth.org/phk.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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