Monday, February 26, 2018

How to Prepare for Cough and Cold Season
by Johnelle Whipple, HCP at Mucinex
With disrupted sleep, throat irritation, body aches, a runny, stuffy nose and more, it’s easy to see why cough and cold season is no fun. While there's a lot you can do to help manage symptoms, staving them off in the first place is even better. There's no surefire way to completely prevent a cough or cold, but strengthening your immune system can be a powerful step in the right direction.
Get Vaccinated Against the Flu
Although there are no vaccines for the common cold, since 2010, the CDC and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have been recommending routine annual influenza vaccinations for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications.
Eat a Healthy Diet
To help protect yourself and quench your appetite at the same time, look into healthier food choices. Try replacing heavily processed, fatty and sugary items such as fast food and sodas, with whole foods. Foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes/beans and whole grains contain phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are associated with a lower risk for disease. Yogurt containing “live and active cultures” may help, too. In fact, studies have shown that eating a daily serving of common yogurt containing probiotics for eight or 12 weeks lowered the risk of the common cold in elderly people by two to six percent by stimulating the immune system.
Prioritize Sleep and Rest

You already know the drill: as your immune system works hard, you’ve got to support it by getting enough rest and sleep. That can be challenging when there’s always another errand to run, meeting to attend or social gathering. Defend your need for rest by committing to only what you can manage without increasing your stress levels or sacrificing sleep. While people's needs vary, the National Sleep Foundation has found that adults typically need 7 to 9 hours of snoozing per night. Depending on their age, kids usually need 8 to 11 sleep hours.1

Move More, but Not Too Much
If you want to help prevent getting a cold and cough, consider getting some exercise. Routine moderate exercise like walking, biking or swimming, may help reduce the risk of infections. However, you shouldn’t go overboard because intense physical training can have the opposite effect, making colds and other infections more likely. For overall health and to help boost your immune system, you should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise five days per week, or 25 minutes of intense exercise at least three days per week.2 Getting more than 300 minutes of moderately-intense cardio per week (without overdoing it) can invite even greater health benefits.3
Once You Have a Cough or Cold
Always, try to keep from spreading a cough and cold to others by practicing good hygiene and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Read on to learn more about what to do once you have a cough or cold.4
When Symptoms Arise
Most everyone deals with a seasonal bug on occasion. When symptoms arise, take steps to ease them. Start by taking an over-the-counter medication to alleviate your symptoms, using the product as directed and if symptoms persist, stop use and ask a doctor. Remember to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, broth or by eating foods with high water content like oranges (another plus: oranges are high in vitamin C content). To help relieve a nagging cough or dry throat, invest in a humidifier to moisten the air you breathe in.
Cover That Cough!
Covering a cough or sneeze is one of the best ways to prevent the millions of germs that come sailing out, from coming in contact with someone else. There are two good methods: Cough into a tissue placed over your mouth and nose, or turn your head and cough into an elbow. And turn away from others whenever possible. 

Avoid Germ Hot Spots
Use disinfectant wipes as directed to go over commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, counters, tabletops and favorite toys at home. Don’t allow your kids to share cups or utensils when one of them is sick, and consider washing communal hand towels more often or using disposable paper towels. 

Work on Hand Hygiene 
Another way to minimize the spread of cough-related germs is through frequent hand-washing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likens hand-washing to a sort of "do-it-yourself" vaccine, saying it as one of the best ways to remove germs, prevent their spread and avoid getting sick. When your family is in the midst of the cold or flu, consider switching to paper towels rather than sharing a cloth towel to prevent the spread of germs. 

Johnelle Whipple is a Healthcare Professional (HCP) Marketing Director, Health, with Mucinex and Reckitt Benckiser

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; updated August 14, 2015

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Checklist for Choosing the Right Summer Camp


Checklist for Choosing the Right Summer Camp
By Daniel Hammond, Director Pali Adventures

Sending your kids away to summer camp can be stressful for parents, but with a little due diligence, the experience doesn’t need to cause stress.  Here’s a helpful checklist to ensure that you choose the right camp for your family, so you can relax and enjoy the summer.


  • Camp Accreditation - Confirm that the camps you are considering are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). The ACA has been ensuring the quality and safety of camp programs for over 100 years.

  • Camp Type – Decide on the type of camp you want. Depending on their age and your personal family needs, you’ll want to consider a few things:
  • Single-Sex Camp: Girls-only or boys-only camps can remove distraction, the urge to impress the opposite sex, and make kids feel more comfortable to be themselves and try new things.
  • Coed Camp: Interacting with the opposite sex offers the opportunity to learn important social skills in a supervised environment.
  • Sleepaway Camp:  It’s different for every kid, but typically kids are ready for sleepaway camp after the age of eight. This can be a scary step for parents, but the independence of a sleepaway camp teaches kids important life skills and helps them build the confidence to stand on their own two feet, in a safe environment.

  • Camp Specialties – You’ll want to determine what specialties you want your child to experience. Consider those that match their interests, but camp also offers an opportunity to challenge them to try new things. Consider activities your child enjoys, ones that foster skills that will help them improve at certain disciplines (acting, cooking, art, sports, etc.), as well learn new things that will make them more well-rounded people.

  • Camp Logistics – Once the type of camp is determined, you’ll need do figure out which camps work for your family. Things to consider include dates that fit your family’s schedule, cost that meet your budgetary needs, location, and the camp’s ability to accommodate any special needs (i.e. food allergies or disabilities).

  • Camp Visit. The final step is to set up a time to visit the camp and meet the director and instructors. Many camps offer an Open House for parents and kids to see the grounds and meet instructors and fellow campers. This is the best way to get an actual feel for what the camp will be like. This is also your opportunity to ask any final questions you have about the camp (daily schedule, sleeping arrangements, emergency procedures, etc.) and its instructors (how they are trained, vetted, etc.).


Whatever you decide, summer camp is meant to be a great experience for kids that will teach important skills and leave them with memories to last a lifetime. Plus, it can be a great opportunity for parents to enjoy some relaxation and the chance to reconnect without kids around.


About the Author:
Daniel Hammond is the Director of Pali Adventures, offering 21 specialties and over 70 electives kids can choose from in Running Springs, CA. Pali is different from other specialty camps because their specialties are so accessible. The programs are encouraging and supportive of all ability levels. They love to see campers explore activities they have only dreamed about; Pali tailors an experience to each camper. Specialties are loosely grouped into four broad categories - Adventure, Creativity, Performance and Leadership. https://paliadventures.com

Aches and Pains

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It's no new thing to any of us veteran moms about muscle pain. It can happen at any moment. You may be starting out great. Then after lugging babies on hips and car seats, fighting battles between siblings, who has time to rest?!

That's why I suggest you skip all the tylenol or motrin and try out a more topical approach. The brand is Salonpas and they have added a new product to the lineup. They added a rollon topical with lidocaine.  I swear by their product line for joint pain and muscle pain. They have a lotion and a roll on one. It's well worth giving them a shot.

4% lidocaine which is the maximum strength lidocaine allowable without a prescription and 10% benzyl alcohol which is fast-acting