Cold weather means flu season and kids spending more time indoors. Learn how to keep your children healthier through flu vaccination and more exercise.
THE VALUE OF VACCINATION
The flu runs rampant during the fall and winter months, causing a wide variety of symptoms, including cough, fever, headache, and sore throat. In severe circumstances, the seasonal virus can be fatal. To help reduce your child’s risk for the flu, talk with your pediatrician about an annual flu shot.
“Getting a vaccination helps the body recognize germs and fight them,” says Andrew L. Jones, M.D., pediatrician with Summit Healthcare “A common myth is that the shot causes the flu, but the virus has actually been killed in the process of making the vaccination. Contracting the illness from the shot is not a risk, and the benefits are well worth the momentary discomfort and inconvenience of getting the vaccine.”
THE BENEFITS OF MOVEMENT
With the prevalence of computer-based homework, social media, and video games, kids are increasingly likely to be sedentary. If your child is not getting enough exercise, he or she may be at higher risk for a variety of problems, including diabetes, depression, low bone density, and obesity.
To decrease the likelihood of developing weight-related complications— boost your child’s energy levels—make sure he or she gets at least an hour of exercise every day. Play outside together as a family, take walks, or host an evening dance party in the living room to get everybody moving. Talk with your child’s pediatrician about specific bone- and muscle-strengthening exercises your child can do at least three days each week.
“Now is the most important time to make exercise a priority,” says Daniel Brewer, D.O., pediatrician with Summit Healthcare Medical Center. “Your child will never have more energy or a higher metabolism than he or she does now. At older ages, it’s harder to make exercise a habit.”
Meet Our Pediatricians
DANIEL BREWER, D.O.
Dr. Brewer knew he wanted to be a doctor early in life.
“I have always been fascinated by the human body and helping others,” Dr. Brewer says. “I remember, as a kid, looking at my hand and being in awe that I could move it without thinking. Today, I have studied the body down to the atomic level and continue to marvel at the sheer majesty of it all.”
Dr. Brewer is a graduate of A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Arizona, where he was raised. When he’s not working, Dr. Brewer enjoys fishing, hiking, woodworking, and spending time with his wife and four children.
ANDREW L. JONES, M.D.
Dr. Jones was called to practice medicine when a young cousin endured injuries in a horseback riding accident.
“I made it to his location faster than the paramedics, but I realized when I got there that I did not know how to help,” Dr. Jones says. “Since that time, I have loved learning more about the human body and the miracle that it is. I especially love to take care of children and watch them grow into amazing adults.”
Dr. Jones attended the University of Utah Medical School and completed his pediatric residency training at the University of Michigan, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. During his free time, Dr. Jones enjoys camping, hiking, snowshoeing, and spending time with his wife and four children.