MHLbTeaching children about the value of basic hygiene is a good idea, especially when it's  accompanied with a song.

As part of your monthly My Healthy Lifestyle newsletter, you'll have a chance to take advantage of some healthy tips from fellow employees. This month a Riverside team member offers some simple but effective ideas on how to help the younger children in our lives stay healthier during he cold and flu season that's already here or right around the corner.

It's never too early to learn proper hygiene. I have two pre-school age boys and a daughter in the third grade so this particular suggestion may seem limited, but I think it's important. As a healthcare worker I appreciate the need to get an annual flu shot, but I also know that while it's good preventive medicine no flu shot is ever going to be 100% effective, particularly when there are various flu strains. I worked with my children from as early an age as possible to make sure they coughed into their elbow (they really liked the idea that we called it the "Dracula cough") and used tissues when they sneezed.

kids-wash-handThe real breakthrough, though, was when I taught them to sing their favorite song every time they wash their hands. In my daughter's case it's one verse of her favorite song. That way they spend a longer time with the soap and water. When I did some research on it, I saw that the CDC called hand washing the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of both viral and bacterial infections. I can't guarantee what my kids do when they're out of the house, but when they're home I have to say that the sound of running water is generally accompanied by the sound of singing.


If you have a health or wellness suggestion that other people can use please send it to Daniel Ballin at