Tag Archives: health

Flu Alert

You can’t turn on the television news lately without hearing about the flu epidemic.  The seasonal flu has started early this year and is spreading quickly throughout the state.  Here’s some useful information from the Center for Disease Control about how you can protect yourself from the flu and how to treat yourself and your host children should you get sick.

It is NOT too late to get a Flu Vaccine. Check out THIS blog post for a list of places to get your flu shot.

An Ounce of Prevention
There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • Practice good health habits.  Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.

Symptoms of the Flu
The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms.  It can be difficult to tell the difference between them.  Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold.  Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Treating the Flu
You can treat flu symptoms without medication by:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
  • Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
  • Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
  • Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
  • Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills

Children are at higher risk for getting the flu because their immune systems are not fully developed.  If your host child gets sick, always ask your host parents before giving any medications to the children.  There are strict guidelines for dosages and they MUST be followed.  Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu.  Giving aspirin to children with the flu can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s Syndrome.  Read ingredient labels on over-the-counter medications carefully to ensure they do not contain aspirin.

Friday, February 5 is WEAR RED DAY


On National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5, 2010, millions of people will choose to wear red and speak up against heart disease. It gives women and men everywhere a way to show their dedication and support of the cause, and empowers them to take action for their health. And it gives them the opportunity to honor the women in their lives by sharing this lifesaving information.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in America.

Tips for a Healthy Heart

  • Eat plenty of fiber and good fat.
  • Lay off cholesterol and salt
  • Lose the gut.
  • Get regular excercise.
  • Calm down.
  • Don’t smoke.

So, when you look in the closet on Friday— GO RED! Wear red and join women – and men – across the nation who are wearing red and speaking up to save women’s lives.

red dresses

For more information about Women & Heart Disease, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org

September Coffee Meeting

We had a great cluster meeting last night at the Ikea cafe.  The newest arrivals to the cluster got to meet some other au pairs.  Everyone selected a duck in my first ever Duck of Choice Meeting.

We also discussed the seasonal flu, H1N1 and tips on how to stay healthy over the winter months.  That may not sound like fun, but neither is getting sick.  So, it’s better to discuss it now and learn ways to stay healthy than to get sick.

We had our quarterly Cluster Super Stars prize drawing.  The big prize, a Washington, DC theme gift basket was won by Ayanda.  It was her first cluster meeting and a lucky day for her.  Wearing her Au Pair in America T-shirt must have brought her good luck!

Here is a picture of her with her prize.

Here’s how the Cluster Super Stars Program works…

Every time you participate in cluster events, you will earn tickets that will go into a drawing for a prize once a quarter (every 3 months.) Drawings will be held at the coffee meetings in March, June, September and December.  You must be present at the meeting where I do the drawing to win.

Here is how you earn tickets:
Attend a Cluster Meeting – 1 ticket
Call or Email a New Au Pair – 1 ticket

Wear your APIA T-shirt to a Cluster Meeting or Event – 1 ticket
Participate in a Cluster Volunteer Event – 3 tickets
Do a Global Awareness Presentation – 3 tickets
At Cluster Meetings, there will sometimes be chances to earn extra tickets.

The more tickets you earn, the more chances you have to win the prize. All of the Cluster Super Stars Prizes will have a value of $20-$60.