There’s a lot to love about the holidays but the uptick in risk for catching colds, flus, and now COVID-19 that comes with travel and increased socializing isn’t necessarily one of them—especially when it hits your whole family.
We spoke with two of the Mount Sinai doctors at HealthQuarters’ downtown location about how to best keep your kids healthy during this time of year. Read on to get three top tips from Dr. Afnan Haq, MD, and Dr. Todd Estabrook, MD, who both specialize in family medicine:
On top of both of their lists of course is making sure your children get the flu shot (available through HQ) and—if they’re five or older—the COVID-19 vaccine (not available at HQ, but can be booked through most hospital systems or drug stores).
Masks can protect from more than Covid—the transmission of colds and flus can also be greatly reduced by wearing masks at airports, train stations, and at events like big football games. “If you have small children, encourage children to wear masks by making them creative—choose one with something fun like their favorite cartoon character, says Afnan Haq, MD. She also adds that wearing two masks rather than one when going into high transmission areas.
Your immune system is at its strongest when you are at your healthiest, and that’s true for your kids, too. From making sure they get enough sleep and exercise to helping them manage stress—all these factors add up to better health. One other thing to make sure gets good support? Diet. “Now is a great time to establish habits of healthier eating,” says Todd Estabrook, MD. “When preparing lunch, avoid heavily processed foods and opt for more whole unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Encourage your children to eat more fruits and vegetables and picking water over juices or soda.”
Now that you’re armed with some physician approved tips for your kids, if you’d like to keep yourself healthy during the holiday season (and beyond), you can set up an appointment for everything from your yearly checkup to sports medicine to allergy testing with the Mount Sinai Doctors team at HealthQuarters by visiting their page on our website. Happy Holidays from HealthQuarters!