For many, the whole fall season can feel like a blur. With kids back in
school, holidays just up ahead, and sports season in full swing, many
families can find themselves burning the candle at both ends. Too often
this can lead to an illness such as a cold or the flu. However, with proper
knowledge, avoiding triggers, and taking some preventative measures, you
can keep the season illness-free and healthy as ever. Here’s how:
Allergies Can Still Occur
With outdoors activities still in full swing, be mindful that trees, plants,
and weeds that can lead to allergy symptoms. Depending on location, ragweed
can be one of the most common. With outdoor sports, such as soccer or
football, cut grass can lead to eye irritations, especially when an allergy
is present. For some, it can be a daily issue. If you notice that your
allergies are worse in the morning or around fresh-cut grass, you might
want to get tested.
Don’t Let Headaches Ruin Your Day
Now that your kids are back in school, you’ll want to make sure they
are aware of how much water they should be drinking daily.
Dehydration is one of the top causes of headaches, but eight glasses a day can help
prevent this. Remind your kids to drink with meals, and refill their water
bottles when needed. If their urine is clear or light-colored, they are
adequately hydrated — any darker, and they should drink more water.
For others, headaches can come from strenuous activity. Though temperatures
are lowering, fall sports can still lead to excessive sweating, which
increases your need for more fluids. To keep hydrated all season long:
- Drink about 16 ounces about two hours before an activity begins
- Drink every 15-20 minutes during your activity or sport
- Drink another 16-24 ounces after the game or workout is complete
Just remember that we should be having a big glass of water eight times
a day, or more if needed. This will help avoid headaches, keep away muscles cramps.
Teaching Kids About Germ Prevention
Flu, cold, and RSV season are all in full gear, making
handwashing a critical step in germ prevention. When a handwashing station isn’t
available, hand sanitizer should be used. Though most know to wash their
hands after using the bathroom, hands must be cleaned before eating, or
before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
The Proper Way to Wash Your Hands
A quick wash and scrub under the sink won’t do the trick. Teaching
your kids the importance of mindfully washing their hands could lower
their chance of illness.
- First, wet the hands with clean, running water.
- Then lather your hands (remember to get the back), between the fingers,
and under the nails. Scrubbing should occur for at least 20 seconds.
- The easiest way to make sure your child is scrubbing for the right amount
of time is to teach them to hum the “Happy Birthday” song
from beginning to end, twice.
- Finally, rinse and dry thoroughly.
- If the bathroom has a door, remind them to use a dry paper towel to turn
the handle or knob.
Watch for Hidden Germs
Unfortunately, there will always be one or two sick kids in school, and
the best way to keep your kid from catching what they have is to teach
them preventive measures.
Germs can be airborne and spread, so if another student is coughing or
sneezing, make sure your child knows not to share anything such as toys,
towels, or food with them.
When sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose, tissues should be used,
not their hands. Used tissues should always be discarded as soon as possible,
too. If they happen to not have one or do use their hands, they should
wash them as quickly as possible without touching anything on the way.
Another fun way to keep them mindful of not spreading their germs is by
encouraging them to sneeze like a vampire: have them wrap their face into
their shirt, tucking their nose into the crook of their elbow!
Preventing Widespread School Illnesses
Yes, you can make sure your kid has their flu shot or is appropriately
washing their hands, but what about things like lice and pink eye? Though
no parent wants to get the school call about head lice, it does occur,
and when it does, it can spread rapidly. Here’s what to keep in
mind when it comes to highly contagious school illnesses:
Head Lice: As one of the most common reasons a kid misses school, head lice thrives
in clean hair and is spread through head-to-head contact. Remind your
child to never share brushes, combs, or any hair accessories with their friends.
Pink Eye: Another reason why proper hand washing is critical, pink eye is most commonly
caused by a bacterial or viral infection and can spread quickly through
a single touch of your eye. If your child is experiencing pink eye, they
should stay home, and it’s always proper prevention to teach them
to avoid touching their eyes in school or public places.
For prevention tips on the common cold and strep throat, read
Four Common Back to School Illnesses.
When it Could be More
Beyond the common cold, your child might start experiencing other health
issues they aren’t familiar with. Whether it’s an allergy
or asthma, openly talking about how they are feeling and the changes that
may be occurring can help improve treatment, especially when it comes
There is no specific age when
asthma hits and, for many, symptoms can vary. Many automatically associate it with
a life-threatening or scary asthma attack, but, for some, asthma can be
present without a single attack ever occurring. It can still impede your
athletic experience and make your day-to-day a challenge if left untreated.
Understanding the Different Types of Asthma
Asthma can occur for a few reasons; here are the main types your child
Exercise-induced asthma: When cold or hot air exposure leads to asthma-like symptoms (tightness
in the chest, difficulty breathing).
Allergy-induced asthma: Can be triggered by common
allergens, such as mold and pollen.
Though each person can experience symptoms differently, the most common
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain and tightness
- Coughing or wheezing at night or in the early morning
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it’s essential to stick
to your regular doctor visits. Though not commonly known, for some, asthma
can change over time. If your child is experiencing any of the below symptoms,
their asthma could be worsening:
- Frequent and bothersome symptoms
- Increased difficulty in breathing
- Needing their inhaler more often
It's important to track these symptoms and discuss them with your child’s doctor.
Though you can do your part in preventing the spread of germs, colds and
other illnesses still happen. If your child is feeling under the weather
and sneezing, or fever and cold-like symptoms do occur, the
Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming, is here to help.
We can provide you with the personal and quality care you need.
Save your spot in line or walk-in today!
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