The following is an interview with Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz.
How can moms prepare their family for cold & flu season?
- You can keep germs away by washing your child’s hands, teaching them to wash their own hands frequently and not forgetting to wash your own hands is very important. If soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative.
- Have your children avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
- It might be easy to give your children soda and other food items that they want, but a well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to keep your family as healthy as possible. Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and lots of water should be part of your child’s daily menu in order to keep their immune system strong and healthy.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. For school-aged children it is recommended for them to get at least 10 hours of sleep per day. It’s also important that they rest for at least 2 hours every day.
- The CDC recommends the flu shot for anyone who does not have any contraindication starting at 6 months of age.
- Lastly, while your friends or family might have some great advice as to whether your child is displaying signs of the flu, when in doubt, do not hesitate to visit a pediatrician.
What are some “feel better” traditions that were passed down in your family?
My mom had many ways of making sure we didn’t get sick. She would have us wash our hands quite frequently. And, if it started getting cold or if the weather dropped, she would have us put on a sweater.
When we got sick, in addition to the TLC she provided, she would also often make us chicken soup, brew chamomile tea and spearmint tea, and she would try to keep my sister and I away from each other so we would not get each other sick.
There is something special about the traditions passed down in families. I love to hear my patient’s stories. There are many smiles worth celebrating as our children grow up but there’s something special about that “feel better” smile when a fever breaks or pain is relieved.
Are there any home remedies you suggest to patients?
Most patients have home remedies of their own, so I listen to what they have been doing and, if it won’t harm the child, I will let them continue doing it and may suggest other things that may help alleviate symptoms or conditions. For example, some patients use sliced onions or sliced potatoes or boiled tomatoes on the soles of the feet of their children to lower their fever. None of these treatments are going to harm the kid, so, while they can continue to use them, I will explain to them that it is also important to keep their child well hydrated, and to give him or her an effective fever reducer like Children’s TYLENOL®, which will help them achieve the “feel better” smile. On the other hand, if they are using alcohol rubs, I will explain to them why they should not use them, since they can harm their child. Alcohol can be absorbed through the skin and it is toxic. It can be very dangerous.
What is the SMILING IT FORWARD® program?
The makers of TYLENOL® started the SMILING IT FORWARD™ program after observing an interesting trend among moms. While moms have always shared cute photos of their children, there was one smile that was being shared overwhelmingly – the “feel better” smile that moms are waiting with baited breath to see when their child is starting to feel better after being sick.
For each smile shared at www.SmilingItForward.com, a $1 donation will be made to Children’s Health Fund, a wonderful organization that provides high-quality healthcare to thousands of underserved children through their fleet of over 50 mobile medical units across the country.
Why are you partnering with TYLENOL® on SMILING IT FORWARD™?
I think it’s amazing that TYLENOL® created a program that not only celebrates family health, but also helps ensure that a doctor’s visit is always within reach for a child in need.
As a physician who cares about my health and that of my entire family, I know how important the power of a smile can be. A big part of my job is educating patients on how they can navigate all of the moments and milestones that occur as their family grows.
Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz M.D., is a renowned physician and founder and Editor-in-Chief of vidaysalud.com and latinahealthletter.com. Dr. Lifshitz maintains a private practice in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.