Top 10 Health Tips from Dr. Tony Lynch in Affidea ExpressCare to avoid winter bugs

As the colder season creeps in, we tend to stay indoors more and kids like to get up close at school and at home, which means we share bugs more easily…and we mean all bugs!

1. Gastro Bugs

The first to prepare against is gastro bugs. These are the fellows that make us vomit or cause loose stools. Usually, they last only 24-48 hours, but the main concern is hydration. If you cannot eat or drink and you’re losing fluids by vomiting and diarrhoea, then you need to be careful that you don’t become to dehydrated. I tend not to worry about loss of appetite in the short term. From a doctor’s point of view, it’s all about the fluids, so drinking a little often is key. If you are so dehydrated that you are not urinating, it can lead to serious issues, so be sure to visit your GP or drop into Affidea ExpressCare. Once you feel you can tolerate something to eat, I always advise taking it easy in the beginning so as not to overload your system. The BRAT diet is one I recommend – bananas, rice, apples (cut and gone slightly brown) and toast – again, with a lot of fluids. The best way to avoid gastro bugs is to practice good hand hygiene.

2. Coughs & Colds

You will often hear people say “common things are common” and that’s true for the common cold! Most of the colds we see are viral in nature so, as we all know, antibiotics will not work for these. They usually start with a runny nose, feeling off form with some aches and pains, a temperature and then that annoying cough that just won’t go away. Rest and fluids are your friend, but if you’re just not able to shake it off then a visit to the doctor may be needed. The key to watch with any respiratory illness for kids is “how hard are they working to breathe?” This involves a few different factors from a medical standpoint, so never be afraid to get an expert opinion. Children tend to keep going until they’re floored with an illness, so parents should follow their gut and bring them in if in doubt.

3. Head Lice

No-one likes to talk about it, but we need to know how to reduce the risk of getting head lice and how to get rid of them. Firstly, kids in close quarters allow lice to move from head to head with ease. Thus, tying hair up in a bun can reduce the transfer risk. Treating with a shampoo and repeating in 7 days will add to your chances of removing the pest, but only mechanical removal truly works with a fine comb. Unfortunately, washing bed clothes, etc., has no real effect.

Top 10 Tips for THE winter blues:
  1. Stay at home if you are exposed to illness, at work or at school
  2. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing
  3. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water
  4. Moisturise your skin regularly to prevent dry and itchy skin
  5. Aim for a balanced, healthy diet to build immunity
  6. Get a good night’s sleep
  7. Wear suitable clothing to get out and about when you can. We often get sick at this time of year as we tend to stay indoors, but a nice walk outside wrapped up well can actually prevent against colds
  8. If you have a pre-existing lung or respiratory condition, consult a specialist during the change of season
  9. Vaccination against flu may be considered for people at high risk and those vulnerable, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, and people over 65 years
  10. If you do fall fowl to a nasty illness, then don’t let things get out of hand. Pop down to us in ExpressCare and our teams will look after to you in record time, getting you back to good health before you know it

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