Saturday, January 26, 2013
This illness has symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in many cases, fever as well. Norovirus has peaked in the U.S. in January. Unfortunately, Norovirus has peaked at the same time as Influenza has peaked. This has led many people to incorrectly call this "the stomach flu." The Norovirus is a virus that causes gastrointestinal illness. The Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the Influenza virus which is unrelated to Norovirus.
Norovirus is highly contagious. It remains in stools for approximately 2 weeks after the symptoms have resolved.
What can you do to prevent Norovirus infection?
2. Rise fruits & vegetables
3. Cook food thoroughly
4. Clean & disinfect surfaces
Handwashing with soap and water is the most important preventative measure one can take to prevent from getting gastroenteritis. Hand sanitizer simply will not be effective. For little children, specifically toddlers, it is especially difficult for them to keep their fingers and objects out of their mouths. So, make sure to wash their hands frequently.
Cooking food thoroughly is important because Norovirus can survive in temperatures up to 140°F. Avoid eating raw foods during this time.
In addition, it is important to disinfect any contaminated surfaces. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends bleach water of a combinations of 5-25 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.
What can you do once you have gastroenteritis?
Hydration is the key. Depending on the age, Pedialyte or sports drinks are recommended to replace the fluids lost. It's important to contact your doctor if you or your loved one is unable to tolerate fluids. Dehydration is serious and can lead to death.
For more information about Norovirus, please go to www.cdc.gov/norovirus.
Monday, January 14, 2013
In addition, 9 out of 10 U.S. regions showed elevated levels of influenza-like ilness. 47 states have a reported widespread level of the flu.
What can you do to prevent yourself or your family from getting the flu?
Get vaccinated. The vaccine has been available since late last August, so it may not be as readily available. However, nowadays you have more locations where you can get the vaccine. You can go to your doctor, your child's pediatrician, a local pharmacy, or the health department.
Good old fashioned hand washing is helpful, as flu droplets may linger on countertops and other objects.
Lastly, it may sound simple, but stay away from people who are coughing or appear to have cold symptoms. What looks like a cold one day, may reveal itself to be the flu on the next day. Flu is contagious fom 1 day before aymptoms develop & 5-7 days after flu symptoms start.
The CDC's U.S. weekly influenza activity map & weekly surveillance report are available at http://1.usa.gov/VGgJaD. For more information on the flu, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
If you'd like to find some easy New Year's resolutions for your kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a great article, http://bit.ly/Vd2Ct6.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
My first grader returned to school Monday. It was a hard day for us, as it was for many parents. Over the past weekend, Facebook had many, many parents asking each other if other people's young children knew about what happened. Also, parents wanted to know how and what to tell their children about this national disaster.
In general, young children do not need many details. In fact, it is important to keep it simple. For example, you can say, "A bad thing happened at a school far away/nearby. A man hurt/killed some people/teachers/kids there. Some people died there. This bad thing rarely happens. Everyone is making sure that every school is super safe. Everyone is doing their best and working together to make sure that this never happens again."
Keep in mind the age of your child, their true nature (quiet vs. talkative), their natural coping style (internalization vs. outspoken). This is especially important as each child is different. Whereas older children may want a long discussion on this topic, small children, might only want a little bit. Be prepared that they will likely return to the conversation at a later time.
Most important, be truthful. Children can usually tell if you are avoiding the truth. They can also sense when something is bothering you. They may not be able to verbalize it, but they can definitely feel it.
Above all else, be kind to yourself. Know what you can handle at any given time, on any given day.
Understand that you and your child may grieve or ask questions differently. You may not be able to have this discussion when your child wants to do so. If that's the case, you can keep it brief. Let them know that everyone is keeping them as safe as can be. Let them know how much you love them. Explain to them when it is a better time for you to talk about it, if you can. Remember that it's okay to have many feelings, such as anger, sadness, confusion, guilt, and more. Children may not know this. In general, it is good to remind them that it's okay to feel the way they do.
Suffice it to say, there are many excellent resources that can help you have this type of discussion with your children. My goal here is to give you some resources that you can turn to, if needed.
If you would like to learn more about helping your child cope with death in general, in the aftermath of a disaster, and in the aftermath of school shootings, I've provided several links that are truly helpful.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has the following articles:
"Helping Children Cope With Death", http://bit.ly/RAe1nk
"Talking to Children About Disasters", http://bit.ly/UDxXRV
"AAP Offers Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings", http://bit.ly/Uuu8yW
The National Association of School Psychologists has an excellent article on helping children cope when there is a national tragedy, entitled, "National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope", http://bit.ly/12khEQ4
National Center for Crisis and Bereavement has an article entitled, "Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff", http://bit.ly/UDygMs
My prayers and thoughts are with all who have been affected by this tragedy in Sandy Hook. There are no words that truly convey all of the emotions I have at this moment. Never did I envision such a tragedy. This crisis at Sandy Hook has reminded me to be grateful for everything in my life. Those brave children and teachers have reminded me how much love there really is in the world. The life they lived and the love they shared reminds me to live and love. May God bless the memories of the angels of Sandy Hook, keeping them on our hearts forever.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
As I sit in bumper to bumper traffic, I am try to find something positive in this very "stuck" moment. About 40 minutes later, I decide that maybe if I take a picture of the moment, perhaps I can find the beauty in it.
Of course, looking at the picture, I see the clouds pop out. I had focused on the cars and being stuck. However, I had completely missed the sky.
Then, at the end of my long ride home, what should appear but a lovely sunset with another enormously large and beautiful cloud above the sunset.
Dr Wayne Dyer's words come to mind, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
What a beautiful canvas God painted tonight :)
Wishing you all a beautiful canvas ... tonight and tomorrow too.
Friday, December 2, 2011
"What is that, Mommy?" Hmmm. How do I explain recycling? I said, "When we drop off all the boxes and newspapers at school, they recycle them; they use it again. They pick it up. They drive it to a big building with special machines. They smush it all together. Then, they make it into new paper and new boxes." As an FYI, one of the ways his school fund raises is by recycling.
I made it a learning moment. Although, I'm not exactly sure how much he learned, it was fun. I think the huge truck packed 3 levels high was more exciting than my explanation. Just a funny Mommy moment. Do you have any stories you'd care to share about any quick "drive by" lesson? Do you have a lesson in recycling?
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Best part? Watching my son get excited about the whole Santa Claus operation. "Mommy why did they leave one present behind? Is that little girl going to get her present?"
Arthur reminds us that each child is important. It's not just about gifts. It's about believing against all odds. Believe and success is possible.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
In particular, I noticed that the way I "do" parks has definitely changed since becoming a mom. No longer do I feel the need to "do it all" in a day. In addition, I'm okay with not going on every ride. I'm more than okay with going for only a few hours. It's more relaxing to just enjoy it.
Not to mention, I have fun staying in one section alone. We spent over an hour in the "Net Climb" section of Shamu's Happy Harbor at Sea World in Orlando. We genuinely enjoyed being kids again. I'm sure our son enjoys it this way too. Having his parents climb through tunnels and on nets is super fun and special.
While I was watching my 6'4" husband net climb & tunnel crawl, at least 4 stories up in the air, I thought to myself, 'Wow ... I never imagined seeing this!'
Then, I thought about how much all of us do, so differently as parents, as compared to our lives before children. Do you notice it too? Granted, your days may not be filled with your husband singing Chipmunks tunes at random hours of the day, when your child is no where near. And you may not have a husband that is addicted to the new adventures of "The Fresh Beat Band." However, you surely have your own stories of parental life. I'd love to hear them.
As an "FYI", we used our Fun Card (http://bit.ly/u50aUP). For the price of a one day ticket, purchased almost a year ago, we were able to enjoy Sea World for an additional 2 days for free. You can't beat that. Deals are great. But quality time is what it's all about; the bonus was that this time it was at Sea World in Orlando.