Nothing is more important than taking care of your family’s health. Your emotional bond is incredibly strong and you want everyone to be around in physically good health for a long time to come. There are plenty of things you can do to help your family be healthy, such as teaching your children to brush their teeth to prevent cavities. With everyone’s busy schedules, how do you make you and your family’s health a top priority? Here are 15 tips to help you take charge of the health of your family members.
Make Annual Doctor’s Visits
Having a family doctor can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make when it comes to your family’s health. A primary care physician will keep track of every family member’s medical history which can lead to better medical decisions if and when things go wrong. You should plan to schedule a visit to the doctor at least one time a year to maintain good health and spot potential problems early.
Having one main doctor will help make scheduling these visits a whole lot easier because you can make back-to-back visits, which saves time. It can also greatly reduce the need for unnecessary visits to the hospital. Make sure your doctor is aware of your family’s medical history from both you and your spouse to help diagnose potential issues faster and easier. If you need to find a primary care physician, you can contact your health insurance company for a list or ask around for recommendations.
Get Regular Dentist Check-Ups
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is absolutely critical for your family’s health. Not only will it prevent cavities from forming, but it will also reduce the risk of potential infections. According to the ADA’s recommendations, people should schedule regular cleaning and check-up visits to the dentist to prevent cavities at least twice a year. If you do not know any dentists, you should get recommendations on a dentist for children and check online reviews to find the best dentist available in your local area.
Encourage children to drink plenty of water to prevent cavities and to cut back on sugary drinks such as pop and juice. Replace toothbrushes about every three months. If you or a family member smokes, create a plan to quit smoking to prevent cavities, reduce gum disease, and keep other potentially fatal infections from developing to avoid extra dentistry procedures. Avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible to prevent cavities.
Get Health Insurance
The right health insurance can not only protect your family’s health, but your pocketbook as well. The rising costs of healthcare are not affordable for most people. A trip to the hospital emergency room can easily cost over $600 without health insurance. Having insurance will protect you and your family when medical emergencies happen and keep you out of financial debt from soaring medical costs.
By having this insurance, you’ll be able to get regular medical care to prevent deadly diseases, prevent cavities, and maintain good health. There are many health insurance options available to choose from. If your employer offers coverage, sign up and enroll all of your family members. If you can’t afford health insurance, there are free options you may qualify for such as Medicaid and Medicare that will cover health insurance costs for both a doctor and dentist visit.
Keep Vaccines Updated
Children are highly susceptible to many potentially infectious diseases that can be completely preventable from spreading. You can prevent your children from contracting these diseases by keeping vaccinates up-to-date. This can prevent unnecessary doctor and hospital visits as well as serious lifelong health issues. Vaccines keep your child’s immune system strong and prevent the need for antibiotic medication, invasive medical tests, and even surgeries. Don’t forget to also schedule a flu shot as well.
Reduce Stress Levels
Continual stress can cause you to get sick. Everyday life can be extremely stressful for many families. You can reduce stress levels by engaging in relaxing activities as a family or giving each family member daily downtime to rest and unwind. Take breaks whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. Create a safe space for everyone to talk things out and vent in a healthy way. Create a calm home environment by playing relaxing music and lighting some candles.
Hug each other often and find ways to laugh together. Spend time talking about your day at the dinner table each night. These activities can reduce stress levels by increasing endorphin levels for better emotional health and reducing cortisol levels that cause stress. If you suffer from persistent anxiety or depression, consult your doctor about treatment options with medications. You can also seek professional help through counseling from a licensed therapist.
Make Healthy Food Choices
If you want to be physically and emotionally healthy, you need to put the right foods into your body as fuel. Plan out meals ahead of time and take your children grocery shopping with you. Find healthier snack alternatives that are easy to prepare or that can be grabbed out of the fridge quickly. Easy nutritious food items include things such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese sticks, or turkey slices.
For picky children, you can hide vegetables in pizza or spaghetti sauces. Encourage your children to replace pop and juices with healthier alternatives such as water and fruit smoothies to prevent cavities. Bake meat instead of frying it. Have your children help you out in the kitchen with simple tasks. Find ways to cope with boredom and emotional eating by coming up with distracting activities other than reaching into the fridge. Developing healthy eating habits will last a lifetime and help you and your family from getting sick.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep every night can help your family focus better on daily tasks and help heal the damaging stress of daily life. Sleep helps boost overall mood and energy levels. It can help your child perform better in school. It can also help fight off sickness by boosting the immune system. This can mean fewer trips to the doctor or hospital emergency room.
You should try to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Maintain a consistent bedtime schedule by going to bed at the same time every night. To help kids get to sleep, have them take a hot bath or read them a bedtime story before going to sleep. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime and play some relaxing music to help induce sleepiness. Avoid giving your child sugary or spicy foods to help prevent cavities at least four hours before their bedtime.
Put Your Spouse First
Putting your spouse first can help your entire family to be healthy and strong. It can be hard to do, especially with demanding work schedules and attention-seeking children. But by prioritizing your marriage, you can demonstrate healthy relationships with your children and reduce stress. It’s important to find ways to connect and communicate with each other on a daily basis. Schedule weekly date nights and times for intimacy.
Avoid fighting in front of your children as much as possible. Find ways for you and your spouse to work out problems in a constructive way. By demonstrating healthy communication patterns, you’ll help teach your children how to have healthy marital relationships in the future.
Give Each Other Emotional Support
TGiving support and encouragement can boost emotional and physical health. Find ways to celebrate each other’s successes, even the small ones. Encourage your children to find and develop their talents and strengths. Show interest in each other’s daily activities. Monitor who your child spends time with and encourage positive friendships. Help each other come up with solutions to any problems that come up.
Family can get on each other’s nerves quite a bit. So, it’s important to find ways to show how much you love them as much as possible. Have your family express to one another why you are grateful for them and why you appreciate them. When conflicts arise, fight fair with strategies that will help you communicate frustrations without attacking and apologize when wrong. This can vastly improve everyone’s emotional health.
Teach Children Healthy Habits
Teaching your children how to take care of themselves will instill healthy habits that will last for a lifetime. You can do this by establishing daily routines for proper hygiene such as showering, hand washing, and teeth brushing to prevent cavities. Cook nutritious meals together and sit down as a family for dinner every night. You can encourage them to get plenty of exercise by participating in fun activities you can all do together.
Work Out Regularly
Regular exercise routines can keep you and your family in good physical shape. Plan at least three physically demanding activities a week and make them fun. Spend time outdoors going on hikes or walks. Enroll your children in sports or dance classes. Don’t forget about emotional health exercises as well such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation exercises.
Teach About Safety
You can keep your family healthy by teaching about safety. Make sure you and your family use seatbelts when in the car and be a good role model with safe driving practices. Encourage your children to wear helmets when riding their bikes or roller skating. Use sunscreen when outdoors to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
Have fire drills at home regularly. Teach your children what to do in an emergency situation or what to do if a stranger approaches. Also, it’s important to have those tough talks about sexual behavior and what is or isn’t appropriate.
Minimize Household Dangers
Many things around your home can put your family’s health at risk. Taking a proactive approach in minimizing these household dangers will keep your family safe from potential harm. Keep any medications or household cleaners out of the reach of children. Make sure little fingers can’t reach things such as makeup, hairspray, and soaps as well. Always keep an eye on your child when they are taking a bath to keep them from drowning or slipping on wet floors.
Use safety latches on cabinets to keep children from getting into things they aren’t supposed to touch. With small children, you can use safety gates near stairways and outlet guards to prevent electrical shock. Prop up window cords out of reach to prevent children from accidentally strangling themselves. Keep walkways clutter-free and wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in every room and replace the batteries on a regular basis.
Detox From Technology
Too much screen time can be an unhealthy thing. Cut back on TV watching and put away your phones as much as possible when you are all together. Instead of allowing your child to spend hours playing video games, find other healthy activities you can all enjoy together. Unsubscribe from emails that do nothing but clutter your inbox and resist the urge to scroll through Facebook and Twitter when you’re bored. Schedule one day a week to get away from all the distractions of technology and connect by playing games and relaxing together.
Keep Your House Clean
Cleaning your house can help prevent you and your family from getting sick. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant cleaners to prevent the spread of germs. Change cleaning cloths regularly to avoid spreading germs and bacteria from one location to another. Pay special attention to frequently used rooms such as your kitchen, bathroom, and children’s bedrooms.
Toys are a huge attraction for harboring germs, so these should be wiped down at least once a week, if not more. Encourage children to keep toys away from their mouths and to wash their hands when they are finished playing. Encourage family members to clean up any messes they make right away.
Your family’s health is incredibly important. By following these 15 tips, you will help make your family happier and healthier so you can enjoy each other’s company for a long time. Being proactive with proper health insurance and taking precautions to prevent cavities and contagious diseases can make managing the health and safety of your family members so much easier. You’ll help your family develop healthy habits that will carry with them throughout their lifetimes and even into future generations. Use this information to get your family healthier today.