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Joyful Noise & Holiday Stress: Tips for Families 
 December 2023 | Issue 240
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Bells may be ringing this holiday season, but your kids' ears shouldn't be!

When not used safely, ear buds or headphones can present a significant risk to a child's hearing. Of course, these devices and accessories also happen to top many holiday wish lists. Beyond tech gifts, there are other holiday hearing hazards. Think noisy toys given as gifts, for example, and noisy gatherings such as parties and concerts.
Hearing problems that result from exposure to loud noise is of special concern for children today. An estimated 1 billion or more young people are at risk for hearing loss from unsafe listening habits. That's one reason we recently sounded the alarm on excessive noise exposure for kids. 
Find our tips to help protect your kids' hearing from too much noise while enjoying the best of the holidays.
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The holiday season is a time to enjoy cherished traditions. But for many families, the "happiest time of the year" can also mean unmanageable stress. Here are a few suggestions for navigating hectic end-of-year activities. They can help your family feel more balanced (and possibly a little more joyful, too). Go to article. 
 Into the Color Zone 

Emotions are complex. One way to help children understand them better is with color zones, a tool that child therapists sometimes use:

  • Blue=sad or bored
  • Green=calm and focused
  • Yellow=anxious, silly or agitated
  • Red=angry, scared or out-of-control
Try this: Use color zones as the basis for a fun little art project. Have kids draw faces to go with each color zone, for example. Then, tape up the chart in a handy spot. When your child has trouble managing their emotions, you can point to it and ask, "How can you get back down to the green zone?"
Read more tips in this month's Power of Play article, 4 Play Activities To Help Children Manage Emotions. Find free December printable play sheets here.
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