Having a Healthy and Happy Holiday:
The holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, are supposed to be fun times for families that don't often find time to get together. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be very stressful and a time when kids can get hurt or sick.
The first step in having a healthy and happy holiday is making sure that your kids stay safe. While your own home may be well childproofed, if you are spending the holiday with family or friends, keep in mind that their home may not be childproofed at all, especially if they do not have young children. In that case, in addition to closely supervising your younger children at all times, you should ask about guns, a backyard pool, and other common hazards, etc.
It is hard enough to avoid things that your kids might be allergic to in your own home, where you have direct control over the groceries you buy and the food you cook. It can be almost impossible when you go somewhere for a holiday dinner, like at Thanksgiving, when a lot of different people may be cooking, some of whom might not even believe in food allergies.
To help protect your child with food allergies, if you can't have your holiday feast in your own home where you have more control over things, it should help to call your host in advance and let them know about your child's food allergies and ask that they not prepare any foods with the ingredient that your child is allergic to, or at the very least, prepare it separately and keep it away from other foods. And have some allergen free alternatives available just in case.
Traveling with Kids:
With long lines, waiting around, and crowded conditions, it is hardly ever easy to travel with kids. You can help it to go a little smoother by bringing enough supplies in a carry on bag, traveling during off-peak times when it might be less crowded, taking non-stop flights, and bringing enough activities to keep your kids amused.
Stick to Schedules and Routines:
In addition to simply getting overstimulated, one of the biggest reasons for meltdowns by infants, toddlers, and preschoolers during the holidays, is that they get off their schedule and become overtired. To avoid this, try to plan your holiday activities around your child's nap, which you should really avoid missing, if at all possible. If there are too many kids together to find a place for a nap for everyone, at least plan a quite time in the middle of the day so they can get some rest.
Pack your Medicines:
Especially if your kids have a chronic medical problem, like asthma or allergies, be sure to pack their medicines when you travel around the holidays. Even if it has been months or years since they have had an asthma or allergy attack, you don't want to be scrambling for an asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen when you are far from home and your kids are sick.