What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's That Time of Year

It's that time of year - the kids have gone back to school just in time to bring all those little pests and germs home.  The problem is kids come into contact with other kids at school or daycare.  They bring things like lice, impetigo, pink eye, colds, flu and all that great thing home to share.  Now you can't really blame them because they contradict all this fun stuff simply by following the sharing rules but here is where you as a parent have to educate them that there is good sharing and bad sharing...

  • impetigo - This infection will cause a spreading, oozing but somewhat crusty rash most prevalent around the mouth area. It is highly contagious.  Children need to be educated that they should not drink from a cup another child has used and they need to be particularly careful about washing their hand to prevent the spread of the infection.  If your child does get impetigo, seek medical help and wash all their linens separately from the main wash.
  • cold sores - Cold sores are cause by the Herpes Simplex I virus.  This is spread by the sharing of drinking cups, straws and intimate contact.  Now, in most cases this virus will affect the mouth region but it can spread causing significant problems for the nasal and eye areas.  The best bet is to teach your children to not share drinking vessels and believe it or not use a sun block on the lips.  Sun can be a major trigger to a cold sore outbreak.  In adults prone to cold sores use L-Lysine, a mutagen for the Herpes Simples I virus.
  • lice - Lice is a common childhood infestation usually contracted by sharing combs, hats, pillows and that type of thing.  There are actual pesticides on the market for lice but an eco-friendly approach is to soak the head good with cider vinegar then let sit for 15 minutes before washing.  Use a baby comb to remove any nits (lice eggs) or simply repeat the cider vinegar treatment a couple of times.  
  • colds/flu - Colds and flu are spread by viruses.  The best way to avoid these viruses is to no share drinks (eg. juice boxes) and to keep the hands clean (eg. 30 second hot water wash).  Get your children and yourselves used to washing your hands well at every opportunity.  Use the sanitizer cleanser if need be and for those concerned you can find these types of cleansers that do not have ethanol in them. 
  • food poisoning - Food poisoning will happen when enough bacteria builds up in the food that can cause food borne illness.  Hot foods need to stay hot so use a thermos and cold foods need to stay cold so use ice packs or similar. The problem with food borne illness is it can take 24 hours to a couple of days for symptoms to appear and some can be life threatening.  
  • food allergies - The best policy is to get your children into the habit of not sharing food, any food.  I'm sorry but what is good for your child may actually be life threatening to another child.
Garden Gnome