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During back-to-school moms can forget their own health matters, too

Date: 9/6/2011

SPRINGFIELD — As kids head back to school, moms do everything in their power to keep their families healthy. But moms often ignore themselves, not realizing kids bring home a book bag full of germs that send hundreds of thousands of moms to the doctor each year. That’s why the local Doctors Express, the first nationally franchised urgent care, is offering local moms Top Ten Tips To Keep Moms Healthy — to keep them standing even when the family gets sick.

“Moms are so worried about taking care of their families when school starts, they forget to take care of themselves,” Dr. Scott Burger, co-founder of Doctors Express, said. “We definitely see an increase of moms coming into our health centers right after the first few weeks of school and we hear time and time again from these busy moms that they don’t have time to get sick. That’s why we recommend moms follow our Top Ten Tips To Keep Moms Healthy so moms can keep standing when the troops go down.”

The top five sicknesses that school children bring home, according to Mayo Clinic, are common cold (roughly 22 million school days lost each year to the common cold), stomach flu, ear infection, pink eye and sore throat.

Doctors Express offers its “Top 10 Tips To Keep Moms Healthy”:
  1. ) Get early flu shots.

  2. ) Bring your own pen — to the bank, the grocery store, even to touch the ATM. Anything a sick person touches can get infested with germs, including money, mail, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, etc.

  3. ) Use paper — replace hand towels in bathrooms with paper towels. While not as “pretty,” paper towels can help get rid of a ton of germs that live in towels.

  4. ) Wash hands — Use soap, warm water and rinse long enough to say the alphabet or sing “Happy Birthday.” Recent studies show plain soap and water works just as well, if not better than antibacterial soaps.

  5. ) Get Your Zzzs — The more you sleep, the better your immune system works to fight off illness. Adults need seven to nine hours a night.

  6. ) Exercise but not too much — 30 to 75 minutes of moderate activity can boost your ability to fight off germs, but long, hard work outs can tire out your immune system so it becomes less effective. One study found that women who walked for 45 minutes, five days a week suffered half as many sick days as couch potatoes.

  7. ) Use a proper hand sanitizer — (at least 60 percent alcohol) anytime you touch anything someone else might have touched. Make sure you use sanitizer, even under fingernails where germs hide.

  8. ) Clean everything with a disinfecting cleaner — Viruses and bacteria can live up to two hours or longer on doorknobs, toys, TV remote controls, keyboards, mouse pads, refrigerator handles, counter tops, railings, faucets, bathroom floors and more.

  9. ) Wash small cuts and scrapes with soap and water — Apply an ointment, put on a bandage and change the bandage every day until the wound heals. Never touch someone else’s wound and wear gloves if you help dress a cut- even if it’s your own child.

  10. ) Use toothbrush sanitizer — Studies show the mouth is the number one place for germs. Sanitize your toothbrush daily to eliminate this often overlooked threat.

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