Temperatures start to fall and so do the leaves. Children head back to school and start fall sports. Splashing in the pool turns into playing soccer, football, and running cross country. Summer fun is replaced by fall homework. Homework, however, is not the only thing kids bring home from school, they also bring home sicknesses to share with the whole family, colds, flus, and all kinds of illnesses they have picked up from their friends and classmates. And while playing sports is a great way to get kids active and keep them healthy, sometimes playing sports comes with bumps, bruises, and injuries.
How do we prevent illness and injury? Do we just send our children back to school and expect they are going to bring us home the latest virus? Or is there something we can do about it? Do we just assume that children will get injured during fall sports or can we give them the tools to stay safe? And if, after all of our efforts, they come home sick or injured? Then what?
Why Do Kids Get Sick So Often?
Children are little bug magnets. They catch and spread illness more than any other age group mainly because over the years as we get sick, our body, our immune system, fights off viruses. Once a virus is slain, our body is immune to that virus, and we cannot get it again. Children’s bodies, however, are brand new and they are developing the antibodies now for future immunity.
Wait, if I’m an adult, why do I get so many colds? Colds and flu are a different kind of virus, hundreds of different viruses actually, mutating and forming all new viruses. This is why everyone gets colds even if they have had many during their lifetime. They are immune to past viruses but can still catch new ones. No one wants to be sick, so how do we prevent illness from spreading?
Does Playing Sports Lead To Injuries?
Sports injuries are relatively common during school sports, especially in the fall when it may be raining and the field may be muddy. Just the physical motion of kids playing can cause injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to broken bones and concussions. Can we avoid these perils?
Preventing illness from spreading
Washing hands, eating healthy foods, and exercising are the best ways to stop any viruses from spreading. Washing hands before and after eating, playing, and after any time you are around other people. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Actually, the old adage should be “an orange a day keeps the doctor away.” Oranges have about ten times the amount of Vitamin C than apples do. Why Vitamin C? Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, helping it to fight off these annoying bugs. If you can’t eat an orange a day, supplements can help stave off colds and flu.
Avoiding sports injuries
Can we help our kids avoid sports injuries? Actually yes. Although coaches are probably the best resource for preventing injuries, there are ways for parents to help at home as well. “Listen to your coaches” is the first line of defense when preventing injuries. Coaches do conditioning for a reason they know that strengthening the major muscles to be used in their particular sport and warming up, cooling down and stretching aid in injury prevention. What can parents do at home to prevent an injury on the field? Actually a lot. Calcium builds strong bones, so drinking lots of milk, eating dairy such as cheese and yogurt and avoiding sugar (soda, candy and the like) can all strengthen your child’s bones to prevent breaks.
Have a great fall!
Make it a routine to wash hands before and after eating, when coming home from school or work and when coming in from playing outside. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C, and make sure you’ve “got milk” to stay healthy, and do the conditioning your coaches tell you to do. But, what happens if you take all of these steps and your child still gets sick or injured?
What to do if your child is sick or injured
Even after taking all these preventative measures, children will still bring home a flu bug or sustain some kind of injury. Kids get sick and accidents happen. So now what? If kids have a cold or flu or some kind of virus, keep them home to prevent it from spreading. Teachers and other parents will thank you. But what if they need to see a doctor? If your child has more than just a cold or the flu is accompanied by a fever, then a trip to urgent care may be necessary.
Las Vegas Urgent Care
Urgent care is that perfect in-between care for when the doctors’ offices are closed, but the symptoms or injury can’t wait until they reopen. As long as it’s not a life-threatening emergency that warrants going to the Emergency Room, it’s time to visit urgent care. Las Vegas Urgent Care can treat minor injuries, do x-rays, assist with illnesses like sore throat, ear infections, and asthma exacerbations. We also help with skin conditions and do those physical exams your children need to play sports at school.