Skip the Sunscreen (Sometimes)
Ever since dermatologists found a link between exposure to UV-B rays and skin cancer, moms have been slathering sunscreen on kids as a matter of routine. UV-B, according to Harvard Magazine, is also the sunshine component that allows the human body to absorb Vitamin D—which is used by every cell type in the human body!
Just 20 minutes on a sunny beach can produce 10,000 international units of Vitamin D while dietary sources offer significantly less. A glass of milk, for example, has only around 100 units. Michael F. Holick of Boston University School of Medicine reports that activated vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer blockers.
Harness the Power of Salt
Salt gets most of its press for its impact on increasing blood pressure, but salt is also essential for bodies to function properly! Planning meals with a reasonable balance of unrefined and iodine-augmented salt can have a number of surprising health benefits for your family. Just be sure not to overdo it, and always use a healthy dose of common sense.
Salt is a natural antihistamine, impacts your body’s pH, and may also support the immune system in fighting bacteria. Jonathan Jantsch, from the University of Regensburg in Germany, recently found sodium increases near wound sites, showing salt’s important role in fighting infection.
Intentionally Create Active Traditions
Everyone knows activity is connected to good health, but what about the idea that these activities can become a part of the culture you pass down to your kids? If you grew up in a family with few traditions or traditions centered mostly around food, it can be a significant mental shift to plan active outings with the intention that they become family traditions.
It makes it easier that “good health” has now become a major pop culture player. This year, the White House even got involved with The National Park Foundation’s launch of “Every Kid in a Park” Campaign. As of September 1st, every fourth grader in the country can get free access to national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges just by visiting everykidinapark.gov for a special pass!
More family activity ideas:
· Trade a lazy Saturday morning for a visit to one of Nashville’s farmers markets for local, in-season produce.
· Run the same 5k every year with your kids every year, such as the ZooRunRun in January at the Nashville Zoo.
· Plan birthday parties at active venues like trampoline parks, rock climbing gyms, and hiking trails.
Get Kids Involved in Meal Planning
Instead of fighting the “Mommy, I want this! Mommy, can I have that?” battle at the grocery store, consider going in with a battle plan. Why not let your children pick out two or three items on their own? Discussing your child’s picks in advance could give you another opportunity to teach your young ones about making healthy food choices. Then, when it’s muffin morning and your child picked out the walnuts, he or she is more likely to eat them!
Include Urgent Care as a Key Player
When it comes to your child’s health, you’re the head coach, and it’s important to understand all the players and their strengths. The healthcare community is ever-evolving. While nearly all urgent and emergency healthcare needs used to take place primarily in hospitals, that’s not the case anymore. With a little planning, you can take advantage of the variety of healthcare options available and be ready to face whatever life throws your way with the right choice at the right time. To cover the broad range of needs, a healthcare team should include a family practice physician, a local ER facility, your family’s specialists if needed, and a local urgent care center.
According to a study by the Department of Health and Human Services, about 60% of people reported having trouble accessing healthcare during evening hours and on weekends. Since the 1990s, the number of urgent care facilities in the United States has more than doubled.
Clinicians at urgent care centers like CareSpot—which has 10 urgent care centers across the greater Nashville area—can communicate with primary care physicians, make referrals to specialists, and send patients to the ER when necessary. CareSpot and many other centers accept most major insurance plans and accept walk-in patients on a first come, first served basis—unlike emergency rooms which treat patients according to the severity of their conditions. Call-ahead and online scheduling are also available. If a condition is not life threatening, the wait is usually significantly longer at an ER—not to mention almost always considerably higher in cost than an urgent care visit. For non-life-threatening health issues which require same-day attention, urgent care is an ideal choice.
Enlist CareSpot for convenient, same-day healthcare at the right price when you need it—even on weekends, evenings, and holidays! You can read more about the services they offer at CareSpot.com.