How can we prevent germs from getting us sick?

Bacteria or viruses are the main contributors to illnesses. When someone gets sick, germs are the responsible microorganisms that attack our immune system. The tiny small organisms can live in a host or a person, causing them to be sick.

Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and other symptoms are signs a person is ill. White blood cells in our bodies help to fight germs. They are specialized biological structures that destroy the toxins germs produce. But what are some ways to keep from getting sick?

1. Wash your hands

Whether it is playing with your pet or playing at the park, you need to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. You know your hands are clean by singing the ABCs. Although there’s a vast amount of different hand sanitizer, they don’t eliminate all types of germs. To be safe, always wash your hands before eating, using the bathroom, or being around someone sick.

2. Use tissue or your elbow

Facial tissues are excellent ways to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. But when these materials are not available, using your elbow is a perfect way to stop the spread of germs. Also, by covering your mouth when you cough, this action also prevents germs from spreading.

Girl sick with fever 3. Eat foods rich in Vitamin C

Studies have yet to confirm that vitamin C is a great way to battle germs. However, studies have shown that vitamin C can help in the absorption of iron. This element is vital to the growth and function of red blood cells, which are key components to prevent anemia.

4. Use proper medications when sick

Fever, stomach-ache, ear infections, and coughs are not pleasant symptoms to tolerate. To alleviate these sick effects, it is best to consult your doctor to recommend proper medications. Don’t try to self-medicate, it is dangerous and illnesses will not get any better.

5. Get a flu shot

Medical studies suggest a flu shot can prevent the tough symptoms caused by this illness. And many clinics and medical facilities offer flu shots at a reasonable price, especially for pregnant women, the elderly, and young children.

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Five tips to keep kids healthy all year long

Have you made your New Years resolution? Maybe you are trying to put together a to-do list for the upcoming year. But have you considered some ways to improve your children’s health this year?

Some of these tips are so easy to adjust to that it can change a family’s lifestyle. Here are some healthful tips to have a great kid in your life.

1. No Smoking

Let this year be the year that you quit smoking for your health and the health of your children. Some habits may be hard to break but when it comes to your health and those surrounding you, an effort can be made. Studies have shown that second hand smoke is more hazardous than not wearing a seat belt. Don’t be another statistic.

Nicotine from tobacco smoking goes to the bloodstream and travels to the brain in matters of seconds. After many uses of substance, the body is addictive to this type of chemical stimulation. However, it also causes damages to the lungs, nervous system, heart, muscles, intestines, and circulatory system.

Cigarette smoking carries many toxic chemicals that are poisonous to small children and others around it. To find out more information about how to prevent second hand smoking, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available in English and Spanish.

No smoking sign with ash tray 2. Eat a Balance Diet

Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for a healthy body. Fruits and vegetables carry many vitamins such as vitamin C, A and minerals such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, and sodium. They also are a great source of fiber. All these components are essential for proper growth and health of bones, skin, brain, and circulatory system, to name a few.

To promote healthy eating habits, add a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Try to eat and encourage your children to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables. Not only will this expand the children palate but it would also increase their potential to try new foods. Eating well is a habit. A habit learned from parents or caregivers. So go ahead and eat that apple, kiwi, mango, or pineapple.

Of course, children are not always going to like a particular food but be consistent and eventually they might try it. Also, be aware of any food allergies that may occur. To learn more about how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet and your children, visit Fruits and Veggies More Matters at the Better Health Foundation.

3. Drink water

Water is an important component for all living creatures. It is necessary for proper cell functioning in bodies. It is present in almost all of the biochemical reactions in metabolic pathways. The body is composed of approximately 70% water. We need to replenish the water in our bodies more frequently due to perspiration and bodily functions.

It is a carrier of essential nutrients in your body and helps regulate body temperature. Water consumption can come from foods such as fruits and vegetables, and plain water. Of course, you should always have safe clean tap water to cook and drink.

Courtesy of Fotolia 4. Exercise

Keep active and mobile is an integral part of being healthy for you and others. But you do not have to join a gym or club to keep motivated to be healthy. Other healthy activities are walking the dog, riding a bike, flying a kite, swimming, skating, playing tennis, playing Frisbee, or just plain walking.

Exercise helps with blood circulation in your body. Hence, it helps delivers essential nutrients to your brain, heart, muscles, and other organs in your body. Also, it helps deliver oxygen to your lungs.

Oxygen is a key component for all living creatures on Earth. It helps you breathe and maintain a healthy body. Second hand smoking and environmental pollution can deplete it.

5. Communicate

With such a fast pace world and the Internet, do you know if your children are safe online. Talk to you children about the dangers that sometimes lurk online.

Who are they talking on social media networks? Who are they talking at school or after-school? Some tactics to talk to your kids are taking walks together, playing a sport together, or just putting a puzzle together. Make this a habit.

If they know that getting together for family game or pizza night, they will know that is the time to talk about their daily lives. To improve communication lines between you and your children, visit the American Psychology Association for some great tips.

Whether you need to quit smoking or improve your eating habits, I hope that you can also insist your children to keep a healthy lifestyle. And, remember that children will learn from example.

What are your New Years resolutions?