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With winter approaching, here are some helpful tips to keep your little one and you happy and healthy!

Get Vaccinated

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to help protect your entire family from a variety of diseases. This time of year, the influenza (flu) virus is in high circulation. The flu virus can cause serious illness in children and severe cases can lead to complications including breathing difficulty or dehydration, which may require the need for hospitalization. Luckily, there is an annual vaccine that can reduce the risk of getting the flu and decrease the risk of severe complications associated with influenza. I highly recommend the flu vaccine for all children, adults, and caregivers because it is an effective way to help keep your home healthy this holiday season. The vaccine is approved for children starting as early as 6 months old. I, for one, couldn’t wait to get my infant vaccinated after their 6-month birthday, since infants and young children are at higher risk for complications from the flu. Call today to schedule your routine well child check or vaccine visit so we can make sure your child is up to date with vaccines and protected from the flu!

The Common Cold and Hand Washing

Did you know the “common cold” is actually caused by many different viruses? This time of year, colds are easily spread at daycare, school, while holiday shopping, or at family gatherings. Symptoms of a viral upper respiratory infection (URI) can cause fever, runny nose, cough, and congestion, which can put a damper on your holiday fun. Unlike bacterial infections, there are no antibiotics that will treat a viral URI. Hand washing is an effective way to help stop the spread of many of the virus germs that can make your family sick this season. So always remember to wash hands to prevent sharing icky colds!

Travel Smart

If you are traveling out of town this holiday season, it is always a good idea to be prepared. Before you go, make a packing check list so you don’t forget to bring everything you need to take care of your little one on the go. Make sure this list includes any routine medications or prescriptions they may need on your trip. Research your destination and plan ahead to identify where you will go for care in the event of an emergency. If your trip takes you on the road, make sure every passenger is using an appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt to keep them safe. If you are heading out of the country to escape the gray weather of the Pacific Northwest, call Allegro to schedule a travel consultation or arrange an eTravel consult. We can offer specific advice to make your international travel experience safe and enjoyable!

Have Fun

Most importantly, find time to enjoy the time you and your kids have away from school and work. It is important to take time as a family to do fun things together - building memories and sharing traditions. Take the time to play a game together, go outside and do something active, or cook a special dish for the holiday. During the school year life can be busy, so take any time you and your child have off together to slow down and enjoy the moments you share as a family. These opportunities to bond will help form lasting relationships that can help create a happy and healthy environment for you and your child.

Dr. Alex Hill is a pediatrician in the Allegro Pediatrics Bothell office.

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