Guest Blog Post: Vive Health
Often by necessity, moms are usually great multitaskers. One of my friends once boasted that she could breastfeed her infant son, pour a glass of milk, work on the computer, and yell at her older kids all at the same time.
Fall and winter are tailor-made for multitaskers. Through effective cold and flu preparation, we can both protect our family’s health in the short term and also pass important points onto our children that will almost surely help them in the long term.
The flu shot has been continually refined over the last few years so it is now safer and more effective than ever. For example, egg allergies once disqualified kids from flu shots. But today, doctors can even administer these shots to kids who have adverse reactions to eggs, such as rashes or mild upset stomachs. These children simply need a little extra monitoring to ensure that they do not have anaphylactic reactions.
This is an excellent opportunity for moms to teach their kids that, sometimes, preventative measures like flu shots have significant pros and cons. In these situations, rather than react emotionally to what other people say, it’s best to examine all the evidence and make a good choice.
Next to the shot, hand-washing is the best way to prevent colds and flu. If no soap and water are available, hand sanitizer will do nicely. The type of soap and water temperature really do not matter at all, because the scrubbing motion is what kills germs. Have your kids scrub their hands for twenty seconds per washing (that’s two silent rounds of “Happy Birthday To You”).
Hand-washing is a very good habit to develop, and one that will suit your kids nicely both now and in the future.
Of course, even if you take these precautions, some kids may still get sick. In these instances, it’s important to distinguish between cold and flu. Prolonged elevated body temperature is one good way to tell the difference, and for that, you’ll need one of the best oral thermometers
The best ways to stay healthy usually do not begin with chemicals. The flu is one exception because this virus is not to be trifled with. Despite all our knowledge and preventative tools, up to 49,000 people a year die
from the flu.
Instead, long-term health usually involves a combination of a good diet and a steady exercise program. In this age of chronic illness, it is imperative that your kids learn this lesson sooner rather than later because illnesses like diabetes are much easier to prevent than they are to treat. Here are a few suggestions:
- Hydration: Dry, cool outside air and hot, dry inside air means that many people, if not most people, are somewhat dehydrated. Dividing your weight by a number of servings is a good way to keep track of hydration, but a quick urine check is easier. If it is colored or bubbly, they need more fluids.
- Probiotics: Yogurt has lots of this healthy bacteria which essentially crowds out harmful germs from the vital intestinal area.
- Plant-Based Foods: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables have lots of immune-building Phytonutrients that also help people heal faster. These foods are also rich in antioxidants, which also boost the immune system while they decrease the risk of cancer, stroke, and some other serious illnesses.
- Exercise: Moderation is best, like 30 minutes of walking a day. Too little causes health problems later in life, and too much depletes the immune system.
The evidence is mixed on Vitamin C and other supplements. Many people swear by them, but the studies really aren’t there.
It is much easier to incorporate lifestyle changes in young people than in older people. Install these habits in your kids now. They may not thank you for it now, but they most likely will later in life.