Staying Healthy in School: Kid Friendly Tips

Do you know why school kids get sick so often? The best ways to keep your child healthy? Get the answers to these questions and more.

Does it seem as if your child is sick all the time? In the early school years, your child’s immune system is put to the test. After all, young children in large groups tend to easily spread organisms that cause illness.

Here’s why infectious illness is so common — and what your child can do to stay healthy in school.


How infections spread

Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. All it takes is a single child to bring a virus to school for the spread to begin. Consider this common scenario — a child who has a cold coughs or sneezes in the classroom. The children sitting nearby inhale the infected respiratory droplets and the cold spreads.


Why hand-washing counts

Frequent hand-washing is one of the simplest — and most effective — ways to prevent the spread of germs. Suggest soaping up for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Remind your child to wash his or her hands:

  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing his or her nose, coughing, or sneezing


Other school health tips

Common sense can go a long way toward staying healthy in school. In addition to frequent hand-washing, encourage your child to:

  • Use hand sanitizer. Give your child alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when hand-washing isn’t possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue — then toss it. If it isn’t possible to reach a tissue in time, remind your child to cough or sneeze into the crook of his or her arm.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.Remind your child that germs spread this way.
  • Steer clear of colds. When possible, help or encourage your child to avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.

Of course, it’s also important for your child to stay current on his or her vaccinations — including a yearly flu vaccine. To prevent spreading illness at home, use the same tips for the entire family.


Article Source: Mayo Clinic

Hand Washing: Do’s and Dont’s

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Find out when and how to wash your hands properly.

When to wash your hands

As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or spread them to others. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food
  • Using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal, animal feed or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Handling garbage

Also, wash your hands when they are visibly dirty.

Skip the antibacterial soap

Antibacterial soaps, such as those containing triclosan, are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap might even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future.

In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration issued a rule under which over-the-counter consumer antiseptic wash products containing the majority of the antibacterial active ingredients — including triclosan and triclocarban — can no longer be marketed to consumers. These products include liquid, foam and gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes.

How to wash your hands

It’s generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with running water — either warm or cold.
  • Apply liquid, bar or powder soap to a cupped hand.
  • Lather well.
  • Rub your hands, palm to palm, vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the fauct.


How to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Follow these steps:

  • Apply enough of the product to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely.
  • Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, until your hands are dry.


Kids need clean hands, too

Help children stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands frequently. Wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it’s done. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. If your child can’t reach the sink on his or her own, keep a step stool handy.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are OK for children and adolescents, especially when soap and water aren’t available. However, be sure to supervise young children using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Swallowing alcohol-based sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. Store the container safely away after use.

A simple way to stay healthy

Hand-washing offers great rewards in terms of preventing illness. Adopting this habit can play a major role in protecting your health.


Article Source: Mayo Clinic

Osteoporosis and Nutrition: 5 Key Steps

A bone-healthy diet can help in preventing and managing osteoporosis.

Like any living tissue, bones need nutrients so that they can grow and then maintain that growth. That’s why a key component to both managing and preventing osteoporosis is good nutrition. Is there a bone-healthy diet? The answer is yes. Here are five steps to eating well for strong bones.


1. Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains

Studies show that eating more vegetables and fruits will lead to improved bone health. These foods are generally lower in calories and fat and are high in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytochemicals, substances that can help protect against a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis.

Aim to eat four or more servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, K and A. All play a role in maintaining bone health.

Also eat four servings of grains daily. Choose whole grains when possible because whole grains contain more nutrients, especially magnesium and fiber, than do refined grains.


2. Choose healthy sources of protein and fat

Protein is important for bone health, because it’s a major component of bone tissue and plays a role in maintaining bone. The best choices include plant proteins, such as beans and nuts, as well as fish, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat. Plant proteins are rich in vitamins, minerals and estrogen-like plant compounds that help preserve bone. Low-fat dairy products, including milk and plain yogurt, are another good source of protein and also provide calcium, which benefits bone health. Protein should account for 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories.

You need some fat in your diet for your body to function properly. The best choices are monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts and seeds. Cold water fish also provide essential omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Even these fats, however, should be eaten in limited amounts. Avoid saturated fats, which have been shown to be detrimental to bone health in adults.


3. Get plenty of calcium

Calcium is critical to bone health. This mineral is a key building block of bone, and it helps prevent bone loss and osteoporotic fractures in older people. Although the recommended daily intake for most adults ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) or more, the typical diet provides much less.

If you’re not getting enough calcium, try to increase your consumption of foods that are high in the mineral. Milk and other dairy products are the richest food sources, but calcium is also found in kale, broccoli, and calcium-fortified foods such as juices, cereals and tofu products.

If you can’t get enough calcium in your diet, then you should consider a calcium supplement. A calcium supplement is often recommended for postmenopausal women because it can reduce the rate of bone loss. Calcium should not be taken alone, however. Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption, and magnesium helps direct the calcium to the bone, keeping it out of the soft tissues.


4. Limit sugar, salt and phosphate additives

Foods that contain sugars added during processing generally provide a lot of calories, additives and preservatives, but very few vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. For this reason, dietary guidelines often recommend that you limit processed foods and beverages. Soft drinks are often the biggest culprit.

Too much salt in your diet also can be harmful. Not only can salt cause high blood pressure, but too much salt also can increase the amount of calcium you excrete from your body with urination. Aim for a limit of 2,300 mg of salt daily — the equivalent of about one teaspoon.

Phosphorus is used as an additive in many processed foods. Too much phosphorus in your diet can interfere with how much calcium is absorbed through your small intestine.

To limit your intake of these problematic ingredients, check the labels on the processed foods you buy at the grocery store and choose fresh foods whenever possible.


5. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

Consuming more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day hastens bone loss and reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. And drinking alcohol with meals will slow calcium’s absorption as well.

Caffeine can slightly increase calcium loss during urination. But much of its potentially harmful effect stems from substituting caffeinated beverages for milk and other healthy drinks. Moderate caffeine consumption — about 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day — won’t be harmful as long as your diet contains adequate calcium.


Article Source: Mayo Clinic