What Should Parents Know About the Flu Vaccine This Year?

What Should Parents Know About the Flu Vaccine This Year?

Every year as the weather turns cooler, parents start to consider the flu vaccine, for their kids and themselves. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding vaccines in general over the past decade, and some parents feel like they would never skip a year of the flu shot, while other parents may be more unsure.

The flu leads to millions of people being sick each year, and unfortunately, hundreds of thousands being hospitalized and even tens of thousands of people dying. The flu can be especially dangerous for older people, people with weakened immune systems, and also for children.

So, if you’re a parent, particularly one who likes to approach health for your family in a more holistic way, what should you know about this year’s flu shot?

Saving Money

First and foremost, while the flu shot is relatively inexpensive, there are opportunities to save even more money if you do choose to get it for your family.

You can browse a program like SingleCare, which is a prescription and health services discount company and you may be able to find significant savings and coupons near you.

In many states you can get the flu shot at a local pharmacy, however, in some states, pharmacists can’t provide immunizations in children under a certain age unless there’s a nurse. You may have to take your child to your pediatrician, depending on where you live.

What Do Doctors Recommend?

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the Centers For Disease Control, there is a strong recommendation that children and teens who are six months and older get the yearly flu shot. Young children are one of the demographics that are at the highest risk of developing complications if they do get the flu, as well as children who have conditions like diabetes and asthma.

Doctors also believe that the shot is the best way to prevent the flu even above things like hand washing.

There tends to be the misconception that your child will get the flu from the shot, but this isn’t the case. There can be some mild symptoms, particularly in kids under two such as a slight fever or sleepiness, but children don’t get the full-blown flu from the shot.

When Should You Get It?

The best thing to do is get the flu shot as early as possible because flu season starts in September.

Parents should also know that the recommendation for kids younger than nine who are getting the flu shot for the first time should get two doses, taken a month apart from one another.

The latest doctors recommend children having the shot is by the end of October.

Another common question parents have about the shot is just how effective it really is.

According to medical experts, the shot is around 60 percent effective, and if a child is vaccinated and gets the flu, it’s usually significantly milder than it would be otherwise in someone who wasn’t vaccinated.

Can Kids With Egg Allergies Get the Shot?

In the past, it was recommended that children and people with allergies to eggs not get the flu shot, but now that’s not the case. According to newly released CDC guidelines, people with egg allergies can receive the flu shot, and they don’t have to be monitored for thirty minutes after getting it.

With that being said, if your child does have an egg allergy you should let the person administering the shot know.

Who Shouldn’t Get a Flu Shot?

Doctors’ recommendations state that most people need a flu shot, but some group’s need is higher than others. Babies, children with asthma and lung diseases, weak immune system, chronic diseases and hear issues are highly advised to get a shot.

On the other hand, children who aren’t six months old yet, or who have had a past allergic reaction to a flu shot should not get one. In some cases, children with Guillain-Barre Syndrome are advised by their doctor not to have a flu shot, but this should be based on guidance from the doctor.

What Else Should You Know?

There are a few other things to know about the flu shot this year. The first is that a nasal spray is no longer an option because it was found to be ineffective, so shots are the only option.

Also, many parents are concerned about the use of the preservative thimerosal in vaccines that is used to avoid contamination. This was one of the things that was studied in terms of a possible link to autism, but the medical community says first and foremost, there are no scientific links showing this is true, but also the flu vaccines that children receive usually don’t have this preservative in them anyway. If you want to be sure, you can ask the person administering the shot for a preservative-free version.

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3 Tips For Recovering After Giving Birth

Having a baby is something that takes its toll on your body.  When a woman is finished at the end of the long haul of 40 weeks she is ready to bounce back to her normal body again.  However, this can take a considerable amount of time.  Since it took 9 months to get to this point, it is common to take just about that long to start feeling normal again.

It is important to remember that your body is only temporarily feeling out of sorts, and with the right amount of patience you can start feeling better and rejuvenated in no time.  Here are some of the best tips for bouncing back after having a baby.

Take It Slow Reintroducing Alcohol

Many women are so excited to have a cocktail after being patient for so long that they make the mistake of diving in head first.  Since it has been so long since the last time a pregnant woman drank alcohol, it is important to remember that you can’t and shouldn’t drink heavily or have a big night out too soon.  Your body isn’t able to start up where you left off.

Rather than going for it all at once, try introducing one small glass here and there of beer or wine.  It is not recommended to dive straight back into liquor as it has a considerably higher alcohol content and could lead to getting drunk easily.

Since you have a newborn to look after it is wise to keep your wits about you, in the beginning, so taking it easy on the booze is advised.

Be Patient Before Starting To Work Out

Often women are incredibly excited to get back into their workout routine.  Often immediately following birth they are trying to squeeze into their old spandex pants which don’t fit at all currently by the way, and put on a workout DVD only to find that they are exhausted before the intro music ends.

It is important to have patience with your body before you expect to get immediately back into shape.  You will want to get your doctor’s clearance before starting a workout program again and remember you have plenty of time to get your old body back.  There is no rush.

Get Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps

On of the best things that you can do for your recovery is sleeping.  Try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps.  This can be hard to do since you are anxious to start dusting, doing laundry, or even just walking around without a baby in your arms for a brief interval.

However, in order to make a full recovery, your body needs to rest.  Take it easy on yourself.

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Tips on how to remove toxins out of your home

I have been working on removing toxic products out of our home. I just joined Young Living Essential Oils and have been watching videos to get informed on how to use all of the oils. I wanted to share some of the steps I have started to remove toxins out of my home.

Fabric softener sheets- they are full of toxins and fragrances, I have switched to dryer balls instead and you can add drops of essential oils if you want to add a scent to your laundry.

Air freshener sprays- I have removed all of the air freshener sprays and plugins. I now just diffuse essential oils. There are a ton of variations of  blends you can use.

Cleaning products-I thought I was doing better and using natural cleaning products then I learned about an app (Think Dirty) that tells you how toxic products are. I am slowly switching over to less toxic cleaners and will eventually be using Young Living cleaning products.

Think Dirty app- Here is a short explanation for the app: easier way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. It is a free app that you scan the barcode of the product or type in the name of the product. I was so surprised when I started scanning all of the products around my home. I have been purchasing what I thought were more natural products but when I scanned them using the app they were a 9 or 10 for toxicity which is bad

 

EWG skin deep website–  You can search your products by name and it will tell you how toxic your products are on a scale from 1-10; 10 being the worst

Switch out products one by one- When you are out of a product switch it to a less toxic product

I will keep you updated on my journey of removing toxins out of my home. Do you have any tips?

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5 Ways To Protect Your Family’s Health In Your New Home

If you recently purchased a home and moved your family in, then one of your next primary concerns is going to be taking care of potential health issues in the new domicile. At your old place, you might have had a solid idea of what to do to keep your kids and spouse healthy, safe, and happy, but it’s important to reassess that at a new location.

Five of the ways to do this protective sweep will include making sure that you reduce chemical exposure potential, take care of wet areas, control the climate in your home, reduce allergen potential, and take special note to keep any pests out of your living areas.

Reduce Chemical Exposure

Especially if you’ve moved into a new home, there are chemical exposure issues that you need to be aware of. Newly stained wood, newly installed carpet, and newly painted walls all can have lingering fumes that, at the very least, can cause some pretty significant headaches. Be sure that you don’t have too much of that ‘new home smell’ before moving all of your belongings in and consistently staying the night.

Take Care of Wet Areas

Mold causes health issues. This is a given. So, in your new home, you have to be sure to right away take care of all the wet areas. Kitchens and bathrooms especially need to be free from mold to start, and then you need to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation, and that all of your seals around faucets are handled to an airtight condition. If water gets in the walls and stays there, you can have eventual health issues that pop up that surprised you because of inhalation or irritation.

Control the Climate

Small children or older people can get sick if there’s too much variation in climate control in your home environment. This means that depending on where you live, you have to be absolutely sure that your heating and cooling systems are tight to go. After moving in, have a technician check the furnace and air condition appliances and ductwork.

Reduce Allergen Potential

In a new location, your family members may have new allergic reactions to things. At the very least, to prevent allergies inside the house when it’s closed, buy an air filter that you trust. This is an extremely efficient way to help keep health and safety at a base level.

Keep Out the Pests

Every home has different pests that come around. Ants, earwigs, bees, box elders – every location is different. But as the seasons change during your first year in your home, make sure to keep everything out that poses an actual threat to your family. For instance, if anyone has bad reactions to hornets, you obviously want to keep a lookout for nests and get rid of the as soon as possible.

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DIY Tips For Creating An At-Home Spa Experience

With the holidays approaching, money can be tight and your stress levels can be high.  Between family and work commitments and budgeting to buy gifts for everyone for Christmas, a day at the spa sounds lovely but it is difficult for most of us to fit the cost into an already restricted winter budget.  Pampering yourself doesn’t need to be expensive so here are a few DIY tricks to create a spa experience at home for you and the family.

For Your Hair

Between coloring our hair and the dry winter air, most of us have hair that is damaged and dry and needs some extra TLC.  Try a DIY hair mask that you can make at home.  There are plenty of recipes online to find a variety of different ways to whip up hair masks and most call for ingredients you already have around the house such as coconut oil, yogurt and honey, or (if you really are not afraid of making a mess) soaking your hair with egg yolks.

For Your Face

Daily exposure to the elements can really take a toll on our skin and often times result in dull and dry facial skin.  Spa facials can be expensive and the results typically seem to fade after a week.  Dr. Surbhi, a dermatologist, recommends daily care of your face and even recommends a couple of homemade facials, which can be done once a week.

For Your Legs

Summer may be over but hair removal season is always in full swing.  Instead of spending the money on waxing at spas, there are some DIY methods that you can do in the privacy and convenience of your own home.  To go a razor free route, you can invest in gadgets such as an epilator or buy a waxing kit.  There are also online methods for eliminating leg hair by using ingredients like almond oil and white pepper.

For Your Feet

Even though your tired feet will be hidden away in cozy socks and winter boots until spring, you still need to pay attention to the care of them.  There are many ways to give yourself a foot soak on a budget.  Much like a hair mask, you will find many foot soak ingredients already at your disposal in the pantry.  Some foot soaks require simple ingredients like Listerine and warm water, salt and baking soda or brown sugar and olive oil.  A relaxing foot soak awaits you in the aisles of your local grocery store.

So next time you are feeling the stress of the holidays or checking the balance of your bank account, skip the spa and look in your kitchen.  All that you and your family need for your next spa treatment may just be waiting for you there.

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Family Fitness: 3 Inexpensive Exercises You Can Do Together

Most people in the United States today don’t get enough exercise, and this is true of children up through senior citizens. We have simply become a sedentary culture, and we need to do something about it.

One of the best ways to solve the physical fitness crisis in America is by helping families to exercise together – and this doesn’t have to involve fancy exercise classes or sports teams. There are lots of great activities kids and adults can work into their daily lives that not only improve health, but also can help you bond as a family. And because kids follow their parents’ lead in developing healthy habits, you’ll be setting them up for a lifetime of success.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider these 3 great activities. And don’t forget to consult your doctor – just as kids should get sports physicals before joining a team, you shouldn’t dramatically alter your habits without checking with your physician first.

Hit The Playground

Young children love the playground, but is there really anything for you to do there as an adult? When you begin looking at the equipment through a new lens, you may be surprised. For example, while the kids are building upper body strength by swinging across the monkey bars, you can join in by performing some pull-ups on the same equipment.

Even if you don’t go to the playground to get a conventional, gym-style workout, you’ll still get a good dose of exercise chasing and lifting your preschooler, or playing one-on-one on the basketball court with your teen.

Be Silly, Get Messy

One of the best ways to make exercise fun is by being spontaneous about it, so let your environment provide the cues. If your kids are playing dress-up while listening to music, challenge them to a silly dance-off. Or if it’s snowing, gather the group to go sledding, challenging the kids to race you back up the hill after each run.

Don’t forget that it’s okay to get messy while exercising. You wouldn’t object to sweating while on a run – that’s just what happens when you exercise – so why balk at a little mud? After the next rain storm, have a mud puddle jumping contest with your kids and don’t worry about the dirt. Just hose them off and stick them in the shower when you’re done.

Keep It Simple

Many things that were once staples of a more active childhood have been pushed to the wayside by modern technology, so consider picking up those old toys in an effort to get fit. Buy some hula hoops and shimmy with your kids in the backyard, or introduce a Skip-It, one of the top outdoor toys of the 1990s. These are inexpensive toys and can add some novelty to your fitness routine – plus, you can show off your old-school skills to your kids.

Families that play together, stay together, so make fitness a priority for your household. Just be sure not to turn it into a chore – exercise is important, but it should be a source of pleasure, not of pain.

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Ways to Finance Treatment Even When You’re Broke

There are so many addicts in the world who would do everything in their power to be able to go to treatment, but the only thing stopping them from being able to get the help they need is finances. Addiction is the thief that comes in and not only takes your finances, it takes your belongings, your relationships, your livelihood and your happiness, and many other things.

There are so many reasons a person finds themselves within the irons chains of addiction. Sometimes it’s generational, sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s all of the above and a host of other reasons. The point of the matter is that it’s a tragedy anytime somebody falls prey to addiction and can’t find their way out.

If you’re in this boat and the only reason you’re not able to attend treatment is because you can’t secure the finances, here are things you can do:

Find A Place Compatible With Your Insurance

Though you’ve probably already looked into this, if you find a rehab facility that will work with your insurance company, this might be the break that you need. It might take a bit of searching on your part, and you will probably have to fill out several forms to verify your insurance with different centers, but your health is worth the work you’ll have to put in. If you’re lucky enough to find a place that will work with your insurance, that’s the solution to your finance issues right there.

Find A Church With A Program

If you don’t have insurance, it sucks, you’re stuck in a job with measly insurance coverage, or you don’t have a job, you’re going to have to seek out other methods of financing your treatment. A great place for you to start is with churches in your area.

You might have a vendetta against the church, you might not, but in the end, the true heart of the people is to help and there are many churches out there that offer up programs to help addicts. Whether this means they have a program within their church, or if their members offer up money to help those who need it afford recovery, the resource is there and it might be about you getting over your pride and seeking it out and accepting the help.

Have Somebody Else Handle Your Money

At this point in your life you might not be able to handle your own money without it going to feed your addiction. It’s normal and natural for addicts to do this. It’s very hard for you to function without your fix. If this is the case, financing treatment might be as simple as having somebody else handle your money. Every time you get paid, make them make you give them a chunk of money. Even when you beg for it, they can’t give it back. When you want to go to treatment, you then have a stash of money available.

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Unexpected Medical Expenses: Budgeting Tips For Families

When planning your family’s budget, it’s hard to factor in the unexpected, such as paying for emergency medical situations. Maybe a family member is in an accident and needs to go to the emergency room, or perhaps a series of ear infections result in a recommendation that your child receive ear tube surgery – whatever the source of the expenses, medical issues are urgent and you’ll need to have funds on hand. Too many of us are underprepared for such unfortunate but common situations.

If you’re trying to manage your family’s medical expenses more effectively, there are a few steps you can take to establish greater financial security. Here are 3 potential approaches to handling such costs that can save you from major medical debt.

Understand Your Insurance

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans are now required to have health insurance, and there are even tax credits available to help your family afford coverage. Even with this coverage, however, many families are struggling to afford rising deductibles and this can have a major impact on your ability to save.

It’s important to choose your insurance carefully and pay attention to both your monthly premiums and the deductible that you’ll need to meet before your insurance kicks in. For everyday costs – an annual checkup or a run of antibiotics – having to meet your deductible may not be a big deal. These expenses aren’t astronomical. But if a family member suddenly needs surgery, you may be facing several thousands dollars out of pocket before your insurance will pay anything.

Shop Around

We tend to think of medical costs as fixed and non-negotiable, but there’s more wiggle room there than you might think. Those who fill a lot of prescriptions, for example, may find that apps like GoodRX can help you find a better price in the same neighborhood. This savings can quickly add up.

Similarly, make sure to comparison shop for things that aren’t covered by your insurance, such as hearing aids. Hearing aids are rarely covered by insurance, but there are ways around this. Some regions have loaner programs for children in need, and there are different kinds of hearing aids on the market. Though they’re still expensive, with research you may be able to find some at an appropriate price point.

Save Up

When you save for medical emergencies in your main savings account, it can be tempting to withdraw the money early when a different need arises. A good solution to this is to open a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are open to those with high deductible insurance plans and are treated preferentially for tax purposes. These accounts can be valuable financial backup when you need to pay off your deductible.

No matter what path you take towards managing your family’s financial expenses, you’ll be glad you planned and saved when an emergency strikes. It’s all about treasuring your health while you have it, but still planning so that you can take care of yourself if that health fails.

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3 Tips for Saving Money on Personal Health

Doctor With Piggy Bank

If there is anything people are focused on these days, it is personal health. With television advertisements heralding new wonder diets and weight loss methods, people are clearly interested in their physical appeal and personal health. Unfortunately, many of those new weight loss options come with a hefty price tag.

From gym memberships to organic veggies, losing weight and becoming personally healthy can be an incredibly expensive endeavor. So how is a low-budget family supposed to make personal health a priority? Included here are a few tips for saving money on your personal health and getting fit this summer.

Go Groupon

One of the greatest benefits of the internet is the ability to find cost-effective options for almost anything. You can order supplements in bulk, find free exercise videos on YouTube and even find affordable gym memberships. One of the best places to go for finding affordable, discounted services is Groupon.

If you are looking for a gym membership for yourself, or your family, you are likely overwhelmed by the high monthly cost. By taking the time to monitor Groupon for local rates, you could find a deal that offers the first month free or three months membership for the price of one. Logging on could save you hundreds on your family’s quest for fitness.

Go Outside

If a gym membership still isn’t in the cards after the best discounts, exercising for free is still completely available. Take your family to the local park for running, climbing, and other aerobic exercise on their grassy fields. Additionally, you could do calmer exercises like yoga in the park with friends.

If swimming or biking is more your speed, consider heading to the local river or lake. Often, there are public swimming holes that cost nothing to utilize, but that can offer a decent amount of space for swimming laps. Many bike trails surround lakes as well, and you could even practice for a triathlon by biking there before your swim!

Go Local

The local movement has begun to affect many aspects of the home, from your household cleaners to organic veggies. Unfortunately, those organic, pesticide free fruits will likely cost you a pretty penny at the grocery store. To cut down on this cost, take time to grow your own produce. Even with a small apartment balcony, you should be able to produce some tomatoes, peas or beans.

If growing just isn’t possible, you can still have healthy produce at a low price by visiting the local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets can offer you seasonal produce, much of which is grown locally and is much cheaper than the stuff that has been shipped to the store.

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How I am Detoxing my life #DetoxYourLife

detox your life

I am sure everyone want to make their life better/healthier. Here are some ways I am detoxing my life/home.

Meditation–  I have just tried this once so far but I did download an app to help me. It is very hard to shut your mind off

Decluttering- Clutter stresses me out. I have a donation bin that I keep in my bedroom. Every time I find something that I don’t use or want anymore I put it in the bin. Once it is full I take it to Goodwill.

Spending Less– Money can be a very stressful thing to deal with. I have signed up for 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge that starts October 1st.  I am hoping that it helps me rethink my spending/purchases.

Switching to natural products-  I already switched all of my cleaning products to all natural products. I have also been trying to slowly switching health & beauty products to more natural products.

Essential Oils- I just recently purchased a diffuser on Amazon and some essential oils. I have been diffusing them daily. I really like stress relief and health shield, to keep everyone healthy and me less stressed.

Candles/Air Fresheners– I use to purchase and have quite a few plugin air fresheners. Then I read several articles about all of the chemicals that are in them and released into the air. Same with candles so I am getting through my candles that I already have and then I will be switching to soy candles that don’t have all of the chemicals in them.

I teamed up with Oscar Health Insurance Company for their #DetoxYourLife project. I hope you find these tips helpful and be sure to check Oscar out for other detox posts for healthier living! What are you doing to detox your life?

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