Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Keep Your Children Healthy and Happy in 2010

According to her report for CBS Broadcasting, HealthWatch: Contaminated Shopping Carts, General Internist, Dr. Holly Phillips noted that [shopping ] carts “carry more bacteria than public phones and restrooms.”  (Gross!)  She goes on to quote microbiologist Chuck Gerba, PhD as saying that the reason is "probably because of the large number of people using it, the handling of raw food products. You're probably putting your broccoli right where some kid's bottom was," "Overall, slightly more than 60, 70 percent of the carts had fecal bacteria on them, and usually hundreds of thousands of bacteria on the average shopping cart," (Yuck!)

Combine that information with the reports and articles about the H1N1 virus that have been bombarding the television screen and radio waves over the past months and I feel lucky to have kept my sanity.  I have to admit though, there were days when I was in such a state of worry I was almost to the point of paranoia.  Short of quarantining my children from the outside world, how was I supposed to keep them safe and healthy?

Not liking to feel so out of control, I read-up on preventative measures. Following are ideas that I like and feel will help keep my children safer this flu season which translate into happiness for everyone. (special note: as a parent, consult with your child's pediatrician and decide what is best for your family)

Five ways to protect your children from germ infested shopping carts and high chairs:

1.   Clean the handle, seat and tray with a bacteria killing sanitizing cloth. (Many grocery stores have these available where you get your cart)

2.   Use a shopping cart / seat cover which covers the entire seat and handle creating a barricade between your little one and that nasty cart / seat. Be sure and wash your cover often.

3.   Do not place your child’s food on an exposed tray. Cover the tray first with napkins or disposable placemats.

4.   Wash your hands and your child’s hands or use an antibacterial waterless hand gel when needed and especially after handling a shopping cart or public high chair.

5.   Use a peek-a-boo pod to keep people from touching your infant when you’re out.

Special Note: Clorox.com provides ways to use Clorox Bleach to sanitize your child's toys, teethers, bottles and more to aid in killing germs.  Parents, consider sharing with your child's daycare or pre-school.  Clorox.com 

Protect yourself and your family from the flu: Center for Disease Control: (www.bam.gov)

Get vaccinated:

  • Get the seasonal flu shot.
  • Get the 2009 H1N1 flu shot now if you are under the age of 24, especially if you have asthma, diabetes or other chronic diseases, and later if you aren't.
Wash your hands:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Wash long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Just squirt it on your hands and rub them until they are dry
Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Always use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure you cover your mouth and nose. Then throw your tissue in the trash as soon as you use it.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not your hands.

Stay home if you are sick
  • If you are sick, stay at home.
  • Don't go to school or around other people until you don't have a fever for 24 hours.
  • You should measure your temperature after you've stopped taking medicines that reduce fevers.
  • Do not take aspirin to reduce fever. Taking aspirin if you have the flu may cause another disease called Reye's syndrome.
  • Also, parents should not give children younger than 4 medicine for cough/colds without talking to a doctor.
  • While sick, stay away from others to keep from infecting them.
Subscriber Only Savings: Save 15% off your Shopping Cart Cover or Peek-A-Boo Pod thru Sunday, February 14, 2010.  Enter code "NOGERMS" at checkout.

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