Dear Bundoo: I can’t stop worrying about sickness
This week in Dear Bundoo, a parent worries about her child getting infected with anything from Ebola to D68.
I’ve been reading about all these diseases in the news, and it’s seriously freaking me out. When it was just Ebola in Africa, it didn’t seem too bad because it was so far away, but now there is this new respiratory virus in this country, and I keep reading about super flu bugs and all these other diseases. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I can protect my kids from all these awful diseases, but then I heard that we’re not even supposed to be using antibacterial wipes anymore because they just make it worse. It’s got to the point that I’m afraid to even take my kids to the doctor’s office because there are so many sick kids there, I just know they’re going to catch something. What can I do to keep my kids healthy when it just feels like we’re surrounded by viruses and diseases all the time?
— Terrified of Viruses
I can certainly understand your concern. It seems like every time we turn on the TV, there is a new report of another new disease about to wreak havoc on our children. But remember, the media’s job is to find the next big story, and as we all know, things often get blown out of proportion just to draw attention. With that being said, the cooler months do tend to bring about those pesky colds and other viruses.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to protect your children. As simple as it sounds, the most effective way to fight germs is to teach your child to wash his or her hands. All the time. A hundred times a day. I make my children wash their hands as soon as they come in from school, the park, or any public place. Also, teach your child to avoid touching his or her eyes, nose, or mouth before they are clean. And don’t underestimate the positive benefits of good nutrition by offering your child an abundance of healthy foods each day. Lastly, make sure your child is up to date on his or her vaccines, including the annual flu shot. There is no way to completely protect your child from the illnesses that are so prevalent this time of year. But hopefully these tips will help keep both you and your family healthy!
Answered by Kristie Rivers, MD, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician
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