Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seven Medical Must-Do's For Fall

If you are like me-- you sent kids back to school this past week and celebrated cried as they walked their book-filled laden backpacks through the school doors.

The start of school generally increases the pace of the pediatric ER. Kids are in closer contact and therefore-- sharing all those wonderful germs with one another.

There's usually an increase in illnesses when school starts-- strep throat and meningitis are a couple. And, if your child starts daycare-- you can expect quite a few illnesses as they adjust to their new germ-filled environment.

I like to do a few things to get ready for the coming viral onslaught that fall and winter bring and I thought I'd do a little public service by sharing these things with you. It's better to do these things now than have to fight weather to go get them when you really need them.

The snow senses when you're not stocked up and will dump three feet of frosty flakes on your house just to prove it.

1. Make sure you have a back-up for your child's medications. Things like rescue inhalers, epi-pens and insulin.

2. Have fever reducers/pain medication that are appropriate for your child. Make sure what you have on hand is not expired. Tylenol for infants under six months. Ibuprofen and Tylenol for infants/children six months and over. No aspirin for any kids unless prescribed by a physician.

3. Stock up on replacement fluids. This would be Pedialyte (or equivalent) for kids two and under Gatorade/Powerade for kids two and up to adult. Don't forget yourself. Usually if one person comes down with something in the household-- everyone else is bound to get it.

4. Kleenex and hand gel. Good hand washing is always the best prevention for illness.

5. Hats and mittens. Snow Pants for those that live in cold climates. Buy a few pairs. It never fails that you won't be able to find any mittens for your six-year-old when the first blizzard hits. I buy a few cheap pairs as extra.

6. Don't forget-- kids playing in the snow should be wearing sunglasses-- particularly at higher altitudes (like when skiing.) 

7. Get your flu shot!

What else do you do to prepare for fall/winter?


  1. I stock up on canned soup, applesauce, and other nonperishable, soft foods.

    I don't get sick very often, but when I do I tend to get pretty bad cases of whatever is floating around. It's nice to have a day or two's worth of food in the house so I don't have to try to talk to store clerks when I've lost my voice. :)

  2. I can't relate to the snow--it's still getting into the 90s here. But stocking up on meds and such is a good idea. Also stuff for hurricane season. It's upon us. ;)

    1. Wow, could not imagine a hurricane. Stay safe.

  3. Glad to see #7 listed. Flu shots are important for children and adults alike. I ignore the nay-sayers who swear that the shot gives them the flu. There may be a few side effects, but so far (as a physician, in the service and private practice) I've not seen any that some ibuprofen or acetaminophen didn't take care of--certainly less symptoms than full-blown flu.
    Thanks for the suggestions.