A year ago, my four year old daughter began to exhibit signs of a cold. She had a cough that did not seem too bad and an occasional runny nose. She never ran a fever or even slowed down during our holiday break. Then one day, it seemed as if the sound of her cough changed and I felt like maybe I needed to have her checked out. That day, New Year's Day 2019, she took a two hour nap. For most children, that is not a big deal, but my girl was never a napper! She rarely wanted to lie down during the day. Armed with that irregularity and her symptoms, my husband took her to the MUSC Children's After Hours Care to get checked out. Several hours later, they were treated to a ride in an ambulance to the MUSC Children's Hospital because she had a case of pneumonia and needed oxygen! Until that moment, I had not realized that her little body was struggling to keep up and that she was, indeed, battling a significant illness. What I did know was that something had changed and she was not acting like herself.
Parents, you know your child. You know when they are not acting like themselves. Pay attention to that intuition especially during the cold and flu season. It doesn't take long for something that seems innocuous to become serious in a very short time!
We believe that prevention is better than letting our immune system take the brunt of the battle. For that reason, we support the idea of being vaccinated against the flu and other diseases. In fact, the CDC recommends that all people over the age of 6 months old be vaccinated for the flu. However, regardless of your vaccination position, we would like to share a few tips to help you get through this season.
A few things that can help prevent getting too run down during the flu season (and crazy weather):
Rest - ensure your student is getting enough sleep; including turning off all screens 60 minutes before bed (it is believed that the blue light that screens emit can cause sleep disruptions and headaches)
Wash hands! Wash hands! Wash hands!
Adequate nutrition - cut down on high sugary and processed foods - more veggies and fruits!
Exercise - grab your student and go for a walk, bike ride, or throw/kick a ball.
Stay alert if your student begins to exhibit signs of sickness: fever of 100.5F or higher, cough, runny nose, sore throat and consider having him or her checked out.
We at First Baptist want you to know that we take your student's health and wellness very seriously. Please feel free to reach out any time to me or Rose Cummings with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here for you!
For more information and pediatric recommendations for parents, please visit www.healthychildren.org. There is a lot of information for parents on best practices and suggestions for keeping your children healthy and safe through the many stages of their growth and development.