Healthy Living, Parenting

Does Your Child Have a Cold or The Flu? How to Tell The Difference

From coast to coast, many hospital emergency rooms are teeming with people suffering from flu or flu-like symptoms, as experts warn this could be one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu and flu-like illnesses are widespread, now reaching most states; the outbreak is described as “high” in 26 states. The vast majority of these cases are from the influenza A H3N2 virus, which has been associated with a higher than normal number of hospitalizations and deaths among young children and senior citizens over the age of 65. 

Does Your Child Have a Cold or The Flu? How to Tell The Difference
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For parents sending their children to school during flu season, it may feel like you’re playing a game of Russian roulette with your child’s health. After all, children are one of the groups that have a high rate of influenza infection.  And with so many students in close contact throughout the school day, touching dirty doorknobs, sharing desks, and eating together at lunch time, it’s the ideal environment for an infectious illness to spread.

Many parents may not realize that the flu and a cold are not the same thing. They are caused by different viruses, and while they are both respiratory illnesses with a few similar symptoms, a cold is much milder, which can have serious complications. 

Typical flu symptoms include:

  • fever and/or chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • tiredness. 
  • In some cases, symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more likely to occur in children than grown-ups.

The flu ordinarily runs its course in a few days to a couple of weeks. But parents may not know that complications from the flu can land their child in the hospital, and in some cases, it can be fatal. Five-year-old Caroline Miller was one of the lucky ones; she survived, but her recovery from flu complications took several months.

Short of keeping your child in a bubble, the best way to protect your children – and yourself – is to get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a “Take 3” approach to fending off the flu – vaccination, healthy habits, and taking anti-viral drugs if prescribed by your doctor. Another resource for parents is Families Fighting Flu. This group has partnered with the CDC in its “Keep Flu Out of School” program to help raise awareness about the burden of influenza in schools. This helpful website and associated resources highlight ways to help schools minimize the potential for students to contract – or spread – illness this season.

If, despite your best efforts, your child does contract the flu, the CDC even offers useful advice to help you take care of your ailing student, and explains when it’s okay to send your child back to school. 

For more information, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org. To learn more about helping your children avoid the bug at school, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org/keep-flu-school/.

Healthy Living, Parenting

Want Your Kids To Be Healthy? Lead By Example

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You may not realize this, but as a parent, you have a considerable effect and impact on your child or children and the way they live. We’re not just talking about at a young age either. Your actions and decisions today will affect who they are tomorrow and ten years from now. They will learn from you, and while it’s not always the case, a child can grow up to be quite similar to their mother or father. This is partially nature and partially due to nurture. The way you choose to raise your children will have an impact.

One of the most basic examples would be views of the world. You might remember, not so long ago, that a video of a child who had been bullied went viral. He was recorded by his mother on camera asking why he didn’t have friends and why people bullied him. Almost immediately, the support came flooding in to help this child. Celebrities joined in the cause, and it soon became a story known across the world. Unfortunately, it was then revealed that the child was bullied because he used racist language in school. Users online investigated the family to discover that the mother had a history of using racist language online and supported the federal flag. Support for the child quickly deteriorated but a few were quick to point out that the child wasn’t to blame for the family they had grown up around. They were right of course. At a certain point, a kid has to learn right from wrong, but that’s difficult to do when the parents are setting a bad example.

The same is true for healthy living. If you don’t lead by example, you can’t expect children to know the importance of looking after their health. So, how do you do this?

Explore The Different Diet Options

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These days from vegan to vegetarian to avoiding gluten to avoiding dairy, there are various types of dietary options to explore that may be beneficial to your family. We’re not suggesting that you force your kids to eat a certain way or avoid certain foods. If you do this, you’re just asking for trouble, and you could ultimately find yourself in a position where they simply look elsewhere to get the chocolate or even the meat that they want.

Be that as it may, it’s important that kids know that they have different options for their diet and that, once they reach a certain age, you support a healthy decision. For instance, your child might decide to go vegan. If that’s the case, you don’t need to go vegan yourself. But you do need to make sure that you are buying them the right food and learning to prepare it.

Cut Out Bad Habits

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You would be amazed how early on kids start to notice certain habits that may be damaging your health. Take salt as an example. Do you regularly add salt to your meals at the dinner table? If so, your child may have noticed this. Particularly if your partner has addressed the issue in front of them. The child may realise that salt is bad for you or they may follow in the footsteps of their other parent and add more salt to their food. Don’t forget that at certain ages throughout development kids see you, their parents, as superheroes that can do no wrong. They could certainly follow in your footsteps and not for the right reasons.

A more extreme example would be alcohol or smoking. If you think that either of these behaviours is bad for your health be aware that doing it will normalise this for your children. They will grow up thinking that there’s nothing wrong with it and even if you warn them of the dangers at a certain age the child will realize you don’t have a leg stand on. The reason for this is the question: Why? Why can they have it and I can’t? If you’re still researching how to quit drinking alcohol or how to stop smoking, it may help you to know that there are various methods online that could help you out a lot. It’s certainly not easy, and it can take a lot of work. But it’s always great to be able to show your kids that you’ve quit an unhealthy habit so you can encourage them to do the same.

Make Fitness Family Time

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There is definitely a struggle right now for parents who are desperate to get kids outside, exercising in the fresh air. Kids want to play on their computers; they want to stay on their phones or just watch TV. With even more tech than ever before, you have to drag your kids out through the front door, but at a young age, you do have an incredible opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging kids to exercise when they are little.

Even weight training has been shown to have a positive impact on their growth and their strength as well as their motor skills. The important thing is to make sure that fitness is as much about spending time with the family as it is staying healthy.

It’s also worth noting that the exercise in question does not have to be particularly strenuous. Instead, it can be as simple as going for a walk. Take a drive and take the whole family for a couple of miles on a walk around a lake. You’ll get just as much of an impact from this as you do from hitting the gym for a couple of hours with the kids. But it’s far more enjoyable. Don’t forget; you can also plan your family trips around the possibility of encouraging fitness.

Heading out camping or going an adventure holiday will mean plenty of activities that get the blood pumping and the body sweating. It’s a healthy alternative to the typical trip to a theme park or a relaxing vacation on a beach.

Get Them Cooking

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A lot of parents focus on making sure that they are giving their kids at least one home cooked meal every day. Some will settle managing it once a week. However, it is important that you do cook for your kids as regularly as possible. Processed foods are your greatest enemy. Remember, food that is processed tends to be packed full of sugar to add flavor to something that uses the leftovers and the scraps.

By giving them a home cooked meal, you can use organic produce and make sure that you include the best meats. You can also prepare the food yourself so you’ll get to decide what you cook it in. A tip would be to drain out the fat that builds up when cooking meat on the hob.

As well as this, you do want to get kids involved in cooking as early as possible. By doing this, you can make sure that they are invested in what they are eating and what they are putting in their bodies. You’ll soon discover that they are eager to make sure that they are eating right as they learn from you what is good and bad for them. Believe it or not, this is a far better trick than trying to convince young children that vegetables will make them super strong or provide them with night vision like an army cadet. We hope you see now that there are various options of how to lead by example when teaching your kids to be healthy. It is the best way to get them on the right path, even from an early age.

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5 Winter Health Secrets to Keep Your Family Happy Until Spring

Does the winter weather have you pining after warmer days? Worried Little Junior is about to come down with the seasonal flu? Do the grey skies have you feeling down?

Winter months brings a different set of physical and mental health challenges for parents and children. But hang in there! Here are some tips that will have everyone feeling better in no time.

5 Winter Health Secrets to Keep Your Family Happy Until Spring
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1. Moderate winter air dryness in your home.

Winter air in the northern hemisphere is marked by low levels of moisture. This means that days are typically dry. While you might not be able to tell the difference, your body can.

Family members with breathing problems might also feel the influence through a flare up of asthma or nosebleeds. Why? The mucus in your sinuses dries out when the air has low humidity levels. Which also means that you are more susceptible to catching colds and other air borne bacteria during this season.

To keep sinus problems away, experts recommend placing a humidifier in family rooms. Or using a salt water nasal spray.

2. Eat immune-charging meals and snacks.

Winter colds and flus are no fun for anyone—neither the child nor the parent taking care of the child. Yet, when it is cold out, many of us are guilty of automatically reaching for a cup of hot cocoa to soothe and warm ourselves and our little ones.

Here’s what’s terrible about that. One cup of cocoa can contain up to 24 grams of sugar. Which is the daily permissible limit for an adult woman. Sugar lowers a body’s immune system, leaving it weakened and less able to fight off contact with germs.

Keep your whole family’s immune system fully charged by replacing sugary treats with foods that help the immune system work as it should. Prevention lists the following foods as powerful immune system boosters:

  • yogurt
  • oats and barley
  • garlic
  • chicken soup
  • sweet potatoes
  • beef
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3. Treat SAD symptoms seriously.

Wondering why you or a member of your family is particularly mopey during winter? They might be experiencing SAD symptoms. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression that sets in most commonly during winter. Symptoms include typical signs of depression which fade when sunnier and warmer days return.

Causes of SAD have been linked to a disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythm. A rhythm that is based on sunlight, and which our body uses to regulate our sleep patterns. Since winter has longer nights, the decrease in sun time can lead to sleep behavior that is different from the rest of the year.

Additionally, less sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin levels—the feel-good brain chemical.

Tempted to tell your kids to tough it out? Not so fast. Mayo Clinic suggests that if SAD is diagnosed early, treatments can help sufferers.

4. Keep the gratitude flowing.

Little ones driving you up the wall with their impatience for warmer weather? Perhaps you can’t wait for the day when they can, once again, play outside without risk of freezing?

Take a moment with your kids to count your blessings. Too old-fashioned for your taste? It still rings true today. Recent research has shown that those who expressed gratitude and felt thankful were better able to be patient. So, consider teaching thankfulness as a skill during the colder days, as it might help your crew be better at waiting for spring’s return.

Of course, there are other benefits to gratitude outside of increased waiting power. In an article published on Time.com, they list better sleep as one of the gains of grateful people.

Gratitude can also help guard against overeating. Something many of us need help with. Other results include happiness and less feelings of depression. You may also find yourself taking better care of you. A task many parents place on the backburner.


5. Find ways to keep the family active.

Yes, you might not want to leave the house, but there are still ways everyone in the family can stay active. For the parents, it might mean using the treadmill. For the kiddos, it might mean pulling out a trampoline, or allowing for some rough and tumble on the living room floor. Just don’t try to go without exercise.

One cause for the winter blues could be due to inactivity. When the body is up and moving, this releases feel-good chemicals to the brain that pump out feelings of well-being.

Besides, exercise is not only an immune system booster, but it also protects a person from a host of other health-related risks.

Healthy Living, Parenting

Family Health Tips Every Parent Needs In Their Life

While all parents have different beliefs and life goals for their family, raising healthy kids is the priority for everyone. Unfortunately, encouraging kids to follow the plan of action is often a lot easier said than done. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to increase your chances of success.

Seeing the full picture is essential if you’re going to get your kids to adopt the right habits. Use the advice below for guidance, and you won’t go far wrong.

Family Health Tips Every Parent Needs In Their Life
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Healthy Eating Needs To Be Fun   

 Nutrition sits at the heart of all healthy living plans, and yours should be no different. Kids won’t make it easy, which is why you must adapt ideas to suit them. Working with children rather than battling them is always the best solution.

Given that their taste buds haven’t matured, you cannot expect them to like all the healthy foods that you do. Meanwhile, it’s equally imperative to inject a sense of enjoyment. Get them involved with simple recipes like these chicken egg rolls. Add a competitive factor by seeing who can make the most attractive goods, and you’ll see a noticeable impact.

Children shouldn’t be prevented from having the odd treat either. Moderation is the key, and those snacks should complement healthy meals rather than replace them. If you still struggle to get kids eating healthy foods, it could be due to another issue. Food intolerance testing may be necessary.

It’s Never Too Early to Start   

Have you ever noticed how most people that are scared of flying are the ones that didn’t take their first trip until they were old enough to know the dangers? That’s because those that started early have become acclimatized to the concept before it has a chance to feel weird. Those sentiments ring true with family health too.

Getting kids to change their ways is far harder than instilling the right ideas from the start. This is especially true when it comes to things like dental health. As well as good daily rituals, you should consult experts like Dr. Julio C. Rosado & Associates at the earliest stage. When those checkups become a natural part of life, it removes any sense of fear. In turn, maintaining healthy teeth is easy.

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Likewise, promoting sports and exercise from an early age can be highly beneficial. Let your child become a couch potato, and breaking the spell can feel impossible.

Your Children aren’t In Competition

 It’s very easy to compare your kids to their friends and classmates. Meanwhile, you’ve probably read books and guides that suggest an expected time for certain milestones to be achieved.  Those barometers are great, but you must not overlook your child’s individuality.

 Kids develop at different rates, especially when you take factors like prematurity into account. Developing a patient nature is vital. You must always encourage without stepping into the realm of forcing kids to do things that they can’t achieve. If you’re still worried, experts like Temple Grandin can test your child for signs of autism and conditions. Those issues needn’t stop your child developing in a healthy and happy manner. Still, adjusting your support is key.   

Your child is on an individual journey. The support is available regardless of their personal circumstances, so you needn’t feel overawed. As long as you remember to celebrate their achievements too, you won’t go far wrong.

 

Healthy Living, Parenting, Review, Uncategorized

Keeping Kids Healthy with GIANTmicrobes – Review

I have partnered with GIANTmicrobes for feature. All opinions are my own

Keeping Kids Healthy with GIANTmicrobes - Review

Vitamins come in many forms from tablets and capsules to yummy gummies. Most kids get their vitamins in gummies or flavored, candy-like tablets. Now they can play with their vitamins! With actual, enlarged molecules of Vitamins A, B6, C and D they will learn all about these compounds that are essential for growth and nutrition. See these fun Vitamin GIANTmicrobes.

Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth and vision. It also is great for the skin and teeth as well as cell and tissue growth. What foods are a good source of Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in yellow and orange foods like carrots and squash. Ask your child to name a few they can think of?

Microbes Plush

Vitamin B6 is one of those B-Vitamins that converts food into energy. In particular, B6 is important for the cardiovascular and nervous system as well as immunity and digestion.

Vitamin B6 is found in meat, fish, nuts, bananas and potatoes! Ask your child what Disney Minion they think gets the most Vitamin B6?

Vitamin C Facts

Vitamin C fights the cold and flu bugs and helps heals wounds. You can’t stay away from germs, they are all around us but Vitamin C helps our body not get sick from those germs.

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage and kiwi to name a few. Ask your child what Vitamin C food they want as a side for lunch or dinner today?

Vit C nutrition

Vitamin D is for the bones! Vitamin D also gives us a mineral that helps our body take in Calcium. Calcium (milk) and Vitamin D are best friends.

Vitamin D can be found in grains, green leafy vegetables, egg yolks and some cereals. Ask your child what they like to put on their green salad?

Learning biology

Now that you and your child have learned about their vitamins, how about some plush molecules to play with. They will use these to learn and memorize. If vitamins don’t excite them, there are so many cells, diseases and critters to learn and have fun with at GIANTmicrobes.

Healthy Living, Parenting

3 Reasons All Parents Should Try Yoga

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When it comes to finding the time to exercise, the demands of parenting mean that most parents find themselves struggling. We all know the benefits of exercise, but that doesn’t mean we can make the space in busy schedules to complete the exercise that we need.

The above is just the first reason that yoga is so attractive to parents. With yoga, there’s no need to visit a gym; if you’ve got a spare square meter in your house, then you’re good to go. Yoga is the kind of exercise that you can fit in anywhere, at any time, making it ideal for busy parents. Additionally, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to establishing a yoga routine as a parent; there are plenty of other reasons yoga is the perfect parenting exercise choice.

1) Yoga Is Inherently Calming

As well as the physical benefits, one of the benefits that yoga can offer is an opportunity to center yourself and find a little calm. As a parent, you’re likely always on the go, running to catch up with yourself and the tasks you need to accomplish. Yoga gives you the chance to breathe, take a moment, and inject a little calm into your day.

2) Yoga Allows You To Futureproof Yourself

At the present time, you might not be overly concerned with conditions such as back pain or osteoporosis. We all tend to think of these issues as a matter for “old” people, but there’s no time like the present when it comes to ensuring your health for the future– for the sake of your kids, and what you’re able to do with them, as well as yourself. Yoga offers myriad benefits that will keep you supple and strong in later life. Intensive, standing yoga contains plenty of effective osteoporosis exercises and lumbago-busting movements that will keep you feeling fit and spry for as long as possible; develop the habit now and you’ll be well set for your golden years.

3) Yoga Is Simple

The simplicity of yoga is one of its main draws, allowing yoga to slot into your existing schedule without a long learning process. You can take classes if you wish, but for the most part, a beginner’s YouTube video is all you need to get started. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, then entry-level videos are a perfect way to introduce yourself to the pursuit. Here’s one to get you started.

In Conclusion

Yoga not only fits into the busy parenting schedule, but also gives you the opportunity to improve your body in ways that will benefit you for years to come. It is the perfect discipline for busy, time-poor parents who don’t have the availability in their schedule for long, demanding gym workouts; parents who need to find methods of exercising that don’t compromise their desire to be there for their kids. Along with a healthy diet, yoga can improve your life in a variety of different ways, so why not give it a try and see what it can do for you?