When Mom has the Flu?

You do not want to give up snuggle time but you also do not want to be Typhoid Mama either. So what is a dedicated mom to do…

 

You want to generously dole out affection but not germs.

 

#1 Wash your hands.  Everyone wash your hands with soap and water.  There would be far less infection in the world if everyone washed their hands more frequently.

 

#2 Keep your distance.  Maintain at least a 3 foot bubble from all loved ones unless you have recently washed your hands and have not sneezed all over yourself.

 

#3 Wear a mask.  Not just any disposable mask, but a N95 mask that blocks 95% of  particles that are 0.3 microns.

 

#4 Continue to nurse. New mommies may consider maintaining space from infants, but should continue expressing breastmilk because nothing is as nutritious and helpful to a baby’s immune system as breastmilk.  Mommy should wash her hands and wear a mask when expressing milk while a healthy family member handles feedings if possible.

 

#5 Disposable tissues. This will help reduce the spread of germs often associated with sneezing and coughing into the air, clothes, or hands.  Flu germs can stay airborne for about 3 minutes, so anyone who walks into the that once empty space you sneezed in may get sick.

 

Remember illness usually has a lower severity when the virus enters a healthier terrain. Eat well, sleep well, exercise well, hydrate well, relationship well – daily. 

Vaccines: History, Culture, and Countermeasures

 

This will be a full length three-part lecture on the topic of vaccines beginning in the origins of vaccines, then taking us to current state of social discontent, and concluding with a discussion on the measures you can take a concerned parent.  We are currently seeking an appropriate Naples based venue for the event.  Please RSVP early, or ask to be kept informed about the event by calling us and giving us your contact information.  We will be collecting ticket revenue for this event to offset the costs of the venue with extra revenue being donated to a local children’s based charity.  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the lecture.

The Cold & Flu Vitamin

In January 2018 a study was published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal demonstrating something I have been sharing with my patients, family and friends for years.  Vitamin D is a cold and flu killer.  The study focused on infants with influenza but results are similar for older children and adults, too. The multicenter, randomized, controlled, clinical based trial showed that  low and high dose vitamin D was effective and safe in treating infants with influenza A. In both groups common symptoms like fever, cough, and wheezing were shorter, but significantly shorter in duration for the high dose group.

 

10 years ago Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, put forth the idea that vitamin D deficiency may be a root cause of influenza.  Subsequent studies based on this hypothesis did show that individuals who were vitamin D deficient experienced significantly more colds and flu.  In February of last year Time Magazine wrote an article “Here’s How to Avoid Catching Colds and Flu” which summarizes the findings of a meta analysis of 25 studies covering 11,000 people.  Daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation reduced colds and flu by half in those with the lowest level of vitamin D.  Even people with the highest level of vitamin D saw a 10% reduction in respiratory infection including colds and flu which makes it as effective as the flu shot.

 

Other studies have revealed that it requires 40 people to be treated with a flu vaccine to prevent one case of flu, 33 people treated with vitamin D to prevent one case of flu, and only 4 people if they are vitamin D deficient to prevent one case of flu.  Therefore, for those who are vitamin D deficient a vitamin supplement is 10 times more effective than the flu shot.

 

Vitamin D is produced naturally from exposure to sunlight rendering us  most susceptible to vitamin D deficiency in the winter months when the days are shortest and it may be too cold for outdoor activities.  Working indoors, wearing sunscreens, or having darker skin pigmentation can further reduce our vitamin D levels which should be taken into account when considering supplementation.  Some people may require as much as 6000-10000 IU of vitamin D3 supplementation to maintain a healthy levels of vitamin D.  One may further consider increasing vitamin K2 and magnesium which help optimize vitamin D levels.

 

Dosing:

Adults: Vitamin D3 50,000 IU once a day for three days.

Children: A proportional fraction of vitamin D3 50,000 IU based on an average adult weight of 150lbs. For example a 30lb child would receive 1/5th of the adult dose or 10,000 IU once a day for three days.

The vitamin D3 should be started within 24-36 hours of the onset of first symptoms.

You should consult with your physician before initiating this protocol as you may have a medical condition precluding vitamin D at these doses.

Sleepovers, A Big Hot Mess?

A mom asked me what my thoughts were on sleepovers because in her view they are sneak-outs, sneak-ins, drink ups, and just a big hot mess to avoid.  Her view is increasingly shared by other parents that interpret the world as changed since our childhoods. Society is not only more dangerous but increasingly more litigious adding another layer of risk.  Once upon a time parents worked things out, or gave children room to work things out on their own.  Now lawyers and law enforcement are a starting point for resolution. It goes without saying that as a parent you will be held responsible for your children’s and their friends’ actions while under your roof.  In the mom’s view, there is an age when sleepovers are no longer appropriate which is between 13-15.  

 

While younger children may not be sneaking out, drinking alcohol, or using drugs there are dangers to be aware of.  As a father of six daughters and two boys, I am cautious of the people I entrust them to, as you should be with your children.  This is especially true with young children.  Sexual abuse affects 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys.  It is most prevalent between the ages of 7-15, and most commonly perpetrated by people you know and trust. These are facts and I see them first hand in my role as a physician with the child protective team.  Part of protection from abuse is bringing it into the light, talking about it at an early age, using correct terms for body parts, and teaching them that their body is their own.

 

So, my stance on sleepovers is that an actively involved parent will know the right choice to make.  Consistently making good decisions requires being an involved parent. That means participating in school, sports, and social activities. It means getting to know your child’s friends, friends of friends, and other parents. The world is not the same as it was when we were young, nor was it then the same as when our parents were young.  Kids should not be sheltered and should be given space to make moral decisions which will help them to grow into caring and moral individuals

 

For me, that means judging a situation case by case, but my default is to say yes when the hosts are trusted and my child is doing all the right things otherwise.