Protect yourself with a flu shot
Flu season is reaching its peak. Hospitals have been overwhelmed with patients and are running out of spare beds.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting widespread, epidemic-level flu activity in almost every state.
The bad news is that this year’s flu strain, H3N2, is especially severe, and the flu vaccine is not a great match 😕
But the good news is that if you haven’t already gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. We might be seeing the worst of it right now, but flu season can last another four or … Continue reading
Avoid the emergency room
Fridays, weekends and holidays are always bad times to get a doctor’s appointment, and many people end up in an emergency department. Which costs a lot of money, even for those with health insurance.
What can you do to decrease your chances of needing emergency care or other expensive healthcare over the holidays?
An emergency physician recently posted some good tips on the healthcare blog KevinMD, and I’ve included a few of my own.
- Refill your prescription medications before the holidays.
- Participate in winter activities, such as skiing or ice skating, safely. Use recommended safety equipment.
… Continue reading
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and isn’t that when illness always seems to strike?
Few things are germier than a school where lots of kids and adults are stuck in small rooms, touching the same objects and breathing the same air.
Kids bring those germs home on their hands and touch everything there, too. Then parents get sick and spread the virus to co-workers. And so on, and so on…
Colds and flu are miserable for children and parents alike, and missing work—whether a parent gets sick or has to stay home to care for a sick child—is a … Continue reading
It’s easier than you think!
The other day I watched in horror as a friend with mild cold symptoms swallowed two extra-strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) tablets with a large swig of NyQuil.
If he had followed with a double whisky, I would have suspected a suicide attempt.
“What are you doing?!” I shrieked, and grabbed both bottles from him. “You just swallowed a massive dose of acetaminophen!”
“Really?” he replied, without much interest. “Hmm.”
Does anyone read the labels on over-the-counter (OTC) medications?
“Look!” I stabbed a finger at the warning label on the back of the NyQuil bottle.
… Continue reading
Vaccinate your children against the flu
It’s still winter in the southern hemisphere, and Australia is experiencing one of the worst flu seasons it’s ever had.
Which is an early warning to us in the northern hemisphere: the 2017-18 flu season may be long and rough. Experts are suggesting we get our flu shots early this year, especially children as they head back to school.
One of the reasons Australia is having such a severe outbreak is that only about 10% of children have been vaccinated.
As one doctor puts it, “Children are the great distributors (of) the influenza virus. … Continue reading
No sooner was I on the road to recovery from the flu, then I came down with a cold, courtesy of a family member who stopped by for a visit and spread his germs around my house.
Please everyone! If you’re sick or think you’re getting sick, STAY HOME!
Anyway, as I said in my previous post about home treatments for the flu, there’s not a lot to do for a cold or flu virus other than treat the symptoms and wait it out.
I like to use my neti pot to help ease nasal congestion, and the Food … Continue reading
Flu is epidemic in Washington
Flu has claimed almost 80 lives in my state, and thousands of people have been sick with the flu or other upper respiratory illnesses.
Last week I succumbed, as well.
And boy, was it a loooong week. And I mentally kicked myself many times, because I probably could have avoided my ordeal if I had just WASHED MY HANDS more frequently.
I don’t know if I had an official influenza virus. I didn’t see a doctor and wasn’t tested. I did get my flu vaccination in October, but those are never 100% effective. A … Continue reading
And save money, too
With both Thanksgiving and Black Friday over and done, the holiday season is in full swing!
But so is the cold-and-flu season :/
Want to stay healthy and save some money? Here are some of my favorite cold-prevention, money-saving posts.
… Continue reading
The right medication at the right dose
The journal Pediatrics recently published a study that showed about 85% of parents make mistakes when measuring out doses of liquid over-the-counter medications.
That reminded me of this short video from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio talking about medication errors made by parents or other caregivers.
Using over 10 years of data from the National Poison Center, researchers found that children under the age of 6 are exposed to a medication error every 8 minutes: too much, too little, or the wrong drug altogether.
Most often, they found … Continue reading
Kids need flu shots!
Pediatricians recommend all children over the age of 6 months get a yearly flu shot.
In previous years, a nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, FluMist, has been available to parents who wanted to avoid subjecting their children to another needle jab.
But for the last 3 years FluMist has not been nearly as effective as the standard flu shot. So for the 2016-2017 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) are recommending against FluMist for flu prevention.
For the 2016-2017 flu season, the Advisory Committee on
… Continue reading