Tips for Preventing Colds and Flu This Season

In order to stay flu-free this flu season, make sure to call us at 733-5437 or book your appointment online for flu shots as soon as possible. We have packed this article with tips to stay healthy and advice if you do get sick.

There are many myths surrounding flu vaccines, but having your family vaccinated against the flu every year is the best way to prevent lost school days, missed work days, suffering and even life threatening illness. Click here to read my Top 10 Flu Myths.

The Right Way to Wash Your Hands

  • Put your hands under warm or cold running water and use soap
  • Rub your hands together until the soap lathers and don’t forget the back of your hands, in between your fingers and underneath your nails
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Have the kids since Happy Birthday twice to make hand washing fun!
  • If soap and water aren’t readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. However, sanitizers don’t eliminate all germs.

New Antibacterial Soap Dangers

Antibacterial products are now in a variety of household products from cat litters to even ballpoint pens. 45% of soaps overall now contain antibacterial products such as triclosan and triclocarban. By overusing products containing these ingredients, dangerous superbugs can be created. Superbugs are bacterial strains that can’t be treated with medication. Researchers suggest only using antibacterial products when necessary such as when caring for the sick. Click here to read the full article about using antibacterial products.

The Difference Between a Cold and Allergies

It is sometimes difficult to tell whether it is a cold or allergies from particles such as pollen or mold. Colds are caused from viruses that get into your immune system. Symptoms such as congestion and coughing are your body’s response to the virus. When the body mistakes harmless substances for viruses such as dust, allergies occur. You experience cold-like symptoms because the body releases histamine. Histamine is also released when a real virus enters the body. Visit this chart for more information on colds and allergies.

New Research Regarding the BRAT Diet

New research shows that children should eat a well-balanced diet of meat, yogurt, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables instead of the go-to Bananas-Applesauce-Rice-Toast regimen. The BRAT diet lacks the nutritional value needed to help a child’s gastrointestinal tract recover. For more information about changes in the BRAT diet recommendations click here.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.