We continue with our Back To School series as Drs Short and McLaughlin present part III, “Fall Basics.”
Fall is finally here. With it comes cooler weather, football, and “colds”. While we enjoy the fall colors and tailgating events, we want to keep our friends and family in good health. Below are some tips to help keep everyone healthy and in the game.
Encourage your child to cough and sneeze into their elbow rather than out into the open air or into their hands. This helps prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses through air particles and through direct hand to hand contact. After “blowing” their noses, dispose the kleenex in the trash can and have them wash their hands. We also recommend wiping down door knobs, faucet handles, and countertops at home and at school when illnesses are about.
Effective hand washing is a very successful means to preventing the spread of illnesses. We recommend thorough hand washing prior to meals and the occasional use of hand sanitizer through out the day to keep colds from being shared among friends.
Remind your child to avoid sharing drinks. They should not use the same straws, water bottles, or glasses as friends and family. Also sharing chapstick and other makeup items can be a vector to spread contagious illnesses.
While most upper respiratory illnesses are self-limited and caused by viruses, they can lead to more serious problems such as ear infections and pneumonia. In addition, they can make us miserable and make sleep difficult. Fortunately, there are numerous treatments to help with the symptoms and help us get well quicker.
Let’s all enjoy the Fall weather and stay happy and healthy but following the above recommendations.
Drs Short and McLaughlin are Board Certified in Emergency Medicine. Both are Medical Directors and staff physicians for freestanding emergency rooms in Texas, including Beaumont Emergency Hospital, Elite Care Emergency Room, and Patients Emergency Room in Baytown.