Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cold and Flu

If I ever waver about getting the flu vaccine, I think back to when my oldest daughter was a sophomore in high school. It was early in the flu season, around October, and we had not yet gotten our shots. She got the flu and missed a week and a half of school. It was not a kid’s dream vacation, watching movies and reading trashy books. She was really, really sick and when she finally got better, she spent weeks playing catch up with her school work.

My youngest daughter just recovered from a nasty cold - three days of missed school - and we even visited the doctor to make sure she didn’t have some strain of flu that escaped the vaccine. No, just a cold, which she has now passed on to me.

According to Dr Tanya Remer Altmann,a pediatrician consultant for Puffs, the common cold is “the most frequent cause of school and work absenteeism.”

Dr. Altmann offers these tips for avoiding colds:

Practice Healthy Habits (get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat your veggies!)

Wash hands early and often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

Soothe cold symptoms by drinking fluids and running vaporizers/humidifiers at night.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in the trash.

Soften-And Strengthen-Your Blows by selecting a gentle but strong tissue like Puffs Plus with Lotion to help prevent chapping from frequent nose blowing.

I tried Puffs Plus with the Scent of Vicks. It brought me back to my days of have Vicks VapoRub smeared on my chest and gave me the illusion of feeling taken care of. Because no sooner had I sat down, than my young patient bleated about needing a hot drink.

So is the flu vaccine worth it? Nora still got sick, still missed school. But she was out less than half the time, and by the middle of that third day, she was fine. Had freezing rain not been falling, we might have sent her to school in the middle of the day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
continues to recommend vaccination for everyone 6 months and older this season. For more information, click here

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