Parenting 101: How to Keep Your Family Healthy

Keeping a family healthy is a full-time job in and of itself. It may sound like it is just a matter of stocking the home with the right medicines, but there is a lot to the problem than just that. Not only does it require the aforementioned medicines, but also making sure that the family is eating right, that the house is properly maintained, and that even the bills are paid. It may sound like a lot of work, but in reality, it can be relatively easy, especially if you approach it with a little organization.

All of the Usual Warnings

Maintaining the health of a family is a daily struggle. Winter brings with the cold, which makes the human body more susceptible to disease and closer proximity increases the chances of exposure. The cold makes the human body work over-time to keep warm and that taxes system resources; this renders the immune system more susceptible to disease. Summer does not help; its warmth brings along with it its own problems that mirror those of winter’s. The only real difference is that you are trading frostbite for heatstroke.

The weather outside forces the family together inside. This means that the family is going to spend a lot more time together, making it easier for diseases to spread among the family members. Throw in that all of that togetherness may cause its own stress, which by itself can weaken the immune system and you have a greater possibility of getting sick. Add in the problems of a poorly maintained home and bad diet and you have the best possibility for disease to spread. While it sounds dire, there are some simple solutions to deal with all of this.

The Environment May Not Be Your Friend

As you will be spending a lot of time indoors, we should start with the inside. The environment is sealed; some issues that would normally dissipate with open doors may stay around to cause some problems. Obviously, you should have inspected and replaced your filters as needed as well as make sure that your carbon dioxide and radon detectors are working. You also need to monitor everyone’s health; especially look for any signs of unexplained bad health or breathing problems as it may signal a mold invasion.

Mold may be one of the most difficult health risks to deal with but there are ways of preventing its spread. Also, make sure that steam is quickly dissipated; if it hangs around then it may provide an excellent environment for mold. You should make sure that the ventilation system and walls are inspected every six months or so in order to make sure that they are clear of mold. As mold can threaten your health it helps to pay attention to any mysterious stains on the walls or ceilings; if they start developing investigate and determine the cause as quickly as possible. Mold may be hard to get rid of when it actually takes root, so to speak, but is relatively easy to make sure it does not become a problem.

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Medicine and Food Are Your Friends

You should keep the medicine cabinet and pantry full. The medicine cabinet should have Vitamins C, B6, and E; Vitamin C always helps disease resistance, while B6 helps power the biochemical responses to most diseases. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that acts as a general boost to health. It is also advised that you have plenty of liquids with electrolytes to help those that do get sick. Airborne and Nyquil are also good to have on hand as well as cough drops and rubbing ointments; it is generally a good idea to have a range of vitamins and medicines on hand when winter hits.

While it goes without saying that you should eat healthily, there are some foods that can help you resist disease as well. Tangerines are always a welcome substitute for oranges, especially as they are sweeter and easier for little hands to peel. Bananas are also a kid-friendly food and the potassium makes them great for holding off colds. Green leafy vegetables are always good, so try to sneak them in as much as possible; cheese, tomatoes, and a good salad dressing always make it a lot easier. Lastly, make sure you have some good brothy soups to replace lost liquids; chicken noodle soup is the obvious choice, but minestrone and even ramen noodles are good substitutes.

How To Avoid Physical Injuries

Any household with children is likely to have a number of accidents. These are pretty much unavoidable but they can be prepared for. Your first aid kit should have a splint and a wide range of bandages; make sure that they have their favorite characters for the best effect. You should also have your insurance paid up as well; you cannot predict when you may need to make a run for the emergency room. It may sound strange, but also make sure that you have a broom and dustpan within reach and that everyone knows where it is; you want broken glass picked quickly and completely.

It may not be a bad idea to make sure that you are Red Cross certified; this gives you not only the skill but also the confidence to deal with just about any problem that may develop. Also, make sure that you have a list of emergency numbers programmed into the house landline and your personal cell phone; while it is always good to have a list of numbers, the phone is not always near that list. Remember to stay calm and in control during the emergency and you should do fine; you can always break down after the crisis has been dealt with.

In short, making sure that you are prepared for your family’s health can be relatively easy if you are organized. Make sure that you are properly prepared for any emergency and you will find that the situation will be a lot easier to deal with, no matter how bad the problem is. “Be prepared” is the motto of all great parents; keep that in mind and no emergency should be a problem.

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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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