Every year my children’s pediatrician stresses the importance of every member in our family getting the influenza-shot. Every year I debate the odds of whether or not we each will follow through with it. To be honest, I just want my family to stay healthy and so I usually allow them to. This year, I unknowingly allowed my daughter to get a shot while she wasn’t 100% well. My husband took my girls to their annual physical and they received two shots. With the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, I didn’t really catch the isolated sniffles and coughs from one of my girls.
Right now, we are paying the cost. It is generally a “No no” to get the influenza-shot while your body is trying to fight-off bad bacteria. To make things worse my daughter already has Sickle Cell Anemia so her health usually isn’t 100%. After the shot she didn’t feel well for awhile and I had to quickly take care of the situation. I am sharing this because every parent should know that when your child needs a shot, if he or she isn’t well, then you need to wait until he or she is. The shot itself doesn’t make a person sick, but if you are already ill it can make matters worse. The best method to combat illness in children and adults is to focus on prevention.
Our Healthy Strategy
Washing hands is the first major deterrence to catching germs. I have started keeping hand-sanitizer attached to my purse. I usually like to do a one-two punch of wiping my kid’s hands with a wipe and then using hand-sanitizer to disinfect whatever germs are left. Teaching young child to wash their hands properly can be difficult, but assisting them and allowing them see us lead by example will make their efforts much more successful.
Stay away from people that are ill. If your child is ill do not go into public areas. Several parents at my daughters’ gymnastics class are suffering from bronchitis. They pay for the class so I’m sure they don’t want to lose money, but exposing other people’s children to their germs isn’t polite.
Drink plenty of water. Our bodies need water to live and flush-out whatever impurities that are lurking within our systems. Every morning, I present my children with an 8 oz bottle of water and tell them they need to drink the entire bottle before the day is over. Giving them their own bottle helps make their goal clear so what I am asking them to do and they know exactly how to achieve it. I also make sure the bottle is fun and cute, they are kids and although the water isn’t sweet and fruity tasting like juice at least it can be cool and pretty. I also let them see me join in on the challenge and drink my water with them.
Even though it’s the holidays, keep the sugar at bay. I asked myself, how did my child get sick in the first place. Hmmm… it was around Thanksgiving and we were exposed to a lot of different people and she ate small pieces of several tasty desserts. Even-though she didn’t partake in eating large quantities of cakes and pies the small samplings of each made the quantities even larger , and then I realized the sugar weakened her immune system. This Christmas she will enjoy a pretty assortment of fresh fruits for dessert, so we will be forgoing the beautiful christmas cookies and make her fruit platters more attractive then normal.
Don’t pass on getting sleep. The holidays bring a lot of excitement and children want to catch it all, they don’t want to miss anything. To encourage my kids to go to bed on time during this holiday season we have allowed them to pick out more bedtime stories then usual and we read until they fall asleep. I’ll admit we all end up dozing off and catching up on our Zzzz…but I’m not complaining because I need my rest as well. Keep in mind, if you’re traveling this season, try to keep your child on their regular night-time schedule if you can, because it will help their bodies maintain their natural defense against some germs.
This holiday season also consider adding these delightful hand-sanitizers to your families pockets
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“I wrote this blog post while participating in a paid SocialMoms and PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.”
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