HEALTH & WELLNESS
Kids ’ Wintertime Health
• Stop the spread of germs – Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces ( door handles , sinks , countertops ) and handwashing can help combat the spread of germs to other family members . Providing sick children with a comfy space to recover , away from other children , can help prevent contamination of highly trafficked areas of the home .
• Stay moisturized in dry weather – Try limiting bath time and make sure the water isn ’ t too hot . Follow your bathtime routine with an ointment or cream , instead of lotion . Most lotions have added ingredients , including fragrances and alcohols , which can cause skin irritation . Opt for something as simple as petroleum jelly or a mineral oil to lock in moisture throughout the day .
• Keep up with vitamin D – Vitamin D helps the body take in calcium and build strong bones as well as fight infection , and plays a role in heart health . But , according to the American Academy of Pediatrics , a majority of the population is vitamin D deficient . Wintertime can bring on less outdoor play ( meaning less exposure to sunlight ) and most don ’ t receive enough vitamin D through diet alone . Talk to your child ’ s health care provider for proper supplement dosage amounts .
• Keep moving – Bundle up to go outside and sled ride or go for a walk . Blowing bubbles isn ’ t just for the summertime , and if it ’ s cold enough , they will freeze ! You can also set up activities inside the house to keep kids occupied , or look to your local community center for fun indoor activities .
• Stay hydrated – According to a study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , exposure to cold temperatures can lessen your body ’ s response to thirst . Dehydration can lead to fatigue , headaches , and make children more susceptible to illness . Serve warm drinks such as soup broths or warm cider after being in the cold , and always have water available .
• Dress in layers – Babies and children should be dressed in one more layer of clothing than an adult . Packing on too many additional layers can cause sweating , making your child colder ! Start with a moisture-wicking base layer , followed by wool , down , or fleece and a water / wind-resistant outer layer for optimal warmth .
• Get some Zzs – An adequate amount of sleep is important for everyone , especially when you ’ re sick . Offer quiet activities such as books , puzzles , coloring , or a movie to allow for some much-needed downtime . Encourage naps when possible to increase resting time .
• Skip sharing ( food and drinks ) – Encourage your kids to wash their hands before lunch to limit germs spreading to food . Also , remind your children to keep their hands from touching their face and the faces of others .
• Elbow trick – Teach kids to turn their heads to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into their elbow to limit the spread of germs .
• Know when outdoor play is safe . Green Zone : 30 degrees or higher – Safe to play outside with layers , but go inside to warm up every 40 minutes . Yellow Zone : 20-30 degrees – Take caution to monitor children for signs of shivering and go inside every 20- 30 minutes . Red Zone : Below 20 degrees – Stay inside ! effectively , causing loss of hearing . Heredity , aging , occupational and recreational noises , some medications , and some illnesses may cause either partial or full hearing loss , but there are ways to treat hearing loss . Treatment can include surgical procedures , hearing aids , or cochlear implants .
Preventive measures can also be taken to protect against noise-induced hearing loss and to avoid age-related hearing loss . Be sure to wear protective earmuffs if you work in a loud environment or are hunting , going to concerts or doing other loud activities for an extended period of time . It is also important to have your hearing tested on a regular basis . Early detection is key to preventing complete hearing loss .
Your mouth can tell a lot about your overall health . Investing in your oral health is also investing in your general health . There are several conditions that are linked to oral health including endocarditis and cardiovascular disease . When bacteria from your mouth — or other parts of your body — spread through your bloodstream , they can attach to your heart , causing an infection in the inner lining called endocarditis . Research suggests that poor oral health is linked to clogged arteries and stroke as well .
Keeping tabs on your oral health is critical for warding off bad breath and poor health . It is important to brush at least twice a day , floss , eat a healthy diet , replace your toothbrush every three to four months , and avoid tobacco use to maintain a healthy mouth . Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings can also ensure that oral hygiene is at its best .
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