Preventative Care Tips During Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us and nothing is worse than a house full of runny noses! Fairhope Pediatrics has put together a handy list of tips and tricks to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy all season.

The best preventative care tricks start with daily and weekly tasks we should all maintain all year! As parents, we do many of these actions without even thinking about it, but our kids can always use some reminders, especially when it comes to stopping the spread of viruses at school.

  • Regular hand washing – Wet your hands, add soap, scrub thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, and rinse under clean running water. Have your child sign the ABC’s while they wash to ensure they wash their hands for an adequate amount of time.
  • Frequently clean toys – Toys should be thoroughly cleaned at least twice a week. Many hard plastic toys can go right into the dishwasher and plush can be cleaned in the washer! This is especially important for the little ones that still put their toys, hands, and feet in their mouths regularly.
  • Healthy diet – Getting the right nutrients into picky eaters can be a challenge for any parent. Try working some fruits and veggies into smoothies, yogurt, and sauces and avoid highly processed and sugary items. If you have a picky eater, avoid pressuring them to eat certain foods. Pressure around foods can deter them from eating those foods even more. Always present a variety of healthy foods while including items you know they like, eventually they may come around and try something new!
  • Regular bedtime routine – Our bodies are working hard to fight off viruses and infections every day. Creating a regular bedtime schedule can give your body a chance to recuperate and have the proper energy to keep these bugs at bay.
  • Regular exercise – Spend plenty of time outdoors! Fresh air and sunlight are vital for a growing body. Creating the habit of regularly getting outdoors and moving your body at a young age will help your child maintain these routines as they get older. 
  • Vampire cough – Teach your child to cough and sneeze into their elbow instead of their hands to stop the spread of viruses. 
  • No sharing – It’s best to encourage your child not to share food and drink items with friends to prevent illness.

Despite being proactive, a winter bug can still sneak up on you. The influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illness. Get ahead of cold and flu season, call the office to schedule an appointment for your children to receive the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines (251) 928-5568. (Available to all children 6 months and older) 

Antibiotic Overuse

Many of us can remember getting antibiotics for ear infections, troublesome coughs, strep throat…you know, the pink stuff that mom kept in the refrigerator. While antibiotics have a time and place in medical care, we have learned through the years that the overuse of antibiotics can actually cause more harm than good. Studies have shown that due to over prescribing antibiotics, new antibiotic-resistant bacteria has surged causing infections that are very difficult to treat. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. Meaning if your child is sick with a virus, the medication will not help them feel better or prevent anyone else from getting their illness. Many parents request antibiotics for ear and sinus infections, however, these infections typically clear up on their own without the use of antibiotics. Your provider will give you some advice on how to keep your child comfortable and get them on the mend quickly. If your child is unwell and does not appear to be improving or has a high fever call the office to schedule an appointment for an evaluation (251) 928-5568. 


Why Most Sore Throats, Coughs & Runny Noses Don’t Need Antibiotics


Antibiotic Resistant ‘Superbugs’


Autumn on the Eastern Shore means great weather for outside activities! Make a point of getting out with the family several times a week to encourage healthy habits. Check out some of these fun ideas to add into the mix.

  • Family nature walk with a scavenger hunt. Try this free printable to share with your kids or give geocaching a try! Including an activity like a scavenger hunt can keep your child engaged in the nature walk and add a little education about the beauty of our region.
  • Register for a family 5k fun run/walk. Most 5ks are tied to a charity which is a great way to learn about community service along with some exercise. Check out this Turkey Trot 5k in Daphne to support Prodisee Pantry! Prodisee Pantry is a faith-based non-profit community ministry providing emergency food and disaster relief.
  • Try a family bike ride. This is a great way to get outside every day! Plan an evening bike ride everyday after work and school. You can even rent bikes or try out the free bike rentals at the Gulf State Park.

Visit the Patient Portal to request an appointment for your Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

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