Health News

Nutrition Tips Winter 2015

Children who have meals with their family not only eat better and are healthier; they learn to socialize and do better in school. Family meals give a time and place to keep up with what is going on with everyone, help each other out, and tell family stories. Enjoying family meals help to keep food in its place as only one of life's great pleasures. Pay attention to the food and enjoy it when it is time to eat, forget about it between times. A rushed morning without breakfast can make eating well challenging. Try these quick breakfast ideas: http://tinyurl.com/nn6b95d A long afternoon commute can make eating well challenging. Pack a snack for the afternoon before your ride so you aren’t over hungry when you get home. Healthy food choices at home and at school can help students do better in school and be healthier over all. Part of learning about healthy eating is practicing. If your children’s’ school does not teach food preparation, ask your school administration how you can help to support offering classes. Snack foods like chips, candy, and pop fill children up, but don’t supply any of the nutrition they need to grow and learn. These foods should not be offered in school. Help the school community council and school administration in your children’s school to promote healthy foods in the school.

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Stomach flu is making the rounds

Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) has experienced an increase of gastrointestinal illness (stomach flu) during the last couple of weeks. The Region has seen the impact in its emergency rooms, and has two norovirus outbreaks in its health care facilities.

Dr. Shauna Hudson, Medical Health Officer and Dr. Alain Lenferna, Vice President, Medical for Sun Country Health Region want to remind people of the steps to take to limit its spread. 

The gastrointestinal illness making the rounds can be caused by many different viruses and bacteria. Norovirus is one common cause of the vomiting and diarrhea.

The steps to take to prevent the stomach flu:

1. Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses and prevent spreading them. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective.

Wash your hands:

  • after using the washroom;
  • after diapering a child;
  • before handling food or preparing meals;
  • before and after eating;
  • after being in contact with someone who has the stomach flu.

Handwashing is very important if you are visiting friends or family in a health care facility.

  • Protect the residents and protect yourself by using the hand sanitizing stations when arrive at or leave our health-care facilities.

 

It is also important to wash your hands to prevent the spread of other diseases too. Washing your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause colds and lung infections.

2. Know the symptoms of stomach flu:

3. Stay home if you get sick with the stomach flu:

  • Please don’t visit friends or family in a health care facility unless absolutely necessary.
  • Outbreaks from viruses like norovirus can have serious impacts in our health care facilities. SCHR appreciates public cooperation in limiting these outbreaks.
  • Do not attend day care, school, or work while you have symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Call Healthline at 1-877-800-0002 for health advice or visit http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/healthline-online

4. Seeking medical advice for the stomach flu:

Seek medical advice in any of the following situations, or if any other symptoms occur that you are concerned about:

  • If you suspect that you are becoming dehydrated.
    • Symptoms of dehydration in adults include: tiredness, dizziness or light-headedness, headache, muscular cramps, sunken eyes, passing little urine, a dry mouth and tongue, weakness, and becoming irritable.
    • Symptoms of dehydration in children include: passing little urine, a dry mouth, a dry tongue and lips, fewer tears when crying, sunken eyes, weakness, being irritable or lethargic.
  • If you are vomiting a lot and unable to keep fluids down.
  • If you have blood in your diarrhoea or vomit.
  • If you have severe abdominal pain.
  • If you have severe symptoms or if you feel that your condition is getting worse.
  • If you have a persisting (greater than 3 days) high fever.
  • If your symptoms are not settling. For example, vomiting for more than 1-2 days, or diarrhoea that does not start to settle after 3-4 days.
  • Infections caught abroad.
  • If you are elderly or have an underlying health problem such as diabetes, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease.
  • If you have a weakened immune system because of, for example, chemotherapy treatment, long-term steroid treatment, HIV infection.
  • If you are pregnant.

5. Take care in the kitchen

  • Keep kitchen surface areas clean and disinfected.
  • Do not prepare food for others when you are sick with the stomach flu.
  • Practice proper hand washing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before preparing or handling food.
  • Handle and prepare foods properly
    • Carefully wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
    • Cook foods thoroughly.
    • Store foods properly.
    • Food items that might have become contaminated with bacteria or viruses should be thrown out.

6. Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected

Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become   contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help.
  • Clean bathroom and kitchen counters, and taps, more frequently.

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Posted Jan. 13, 2012.

 

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