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Keep Kids Safe

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-You're watching Better. TV, home, family, life. -Yeah, keeping your kids healthy during the school year is, definitely, a huge challenge, something all parents worry about. And there's some other things you need to think about, too, like playground safety. Pediatrician Darshak Sanghavi is here with tips that may ease parents' minds a bit. And thank you so much for coming in today -Thank you for having me. -It seems nearly impossible to keep your kids healthy with cold and flu season almost upon us now. What can we do to keep them from getting so many colds? -Well, it's important to remember that children, actually, get sick a lot. And they get sick about 9 or 10 times a year, and that's difficult not only for the children but for the parents as well since you miss work and it's just a real problem. So, anything you can do to prevent an infection is a great idea. But the 2 things that I recommend are, first, I think that hand sanitizers are a good idea. And we have some right here. I think that using those really prevents the infections and being sent from child to child. Interestingly, you don't really spread the infection by sneezing or coughing, but really by touching your hands to your face which is where the viruses or bacteria may be and then transferring them to another surface and then another child touches it. So, it's really by washing your hands and keeping them clean that you can prevent infection. -And maybe putting one of these in the backpack so kids can have it before lunch? -Yes, absolutely, or particularly before and after eating and then before and after using the rest room is a good time for them to use a hand sanitizer. -How about the flu shots? -Yes. -Should parents be thinking about getting their child vaccinated? -I think the flu shot's a great idea. Studies show that not only does it protect children, but it also prevents parents and the elderly from getting sick and probably saves a lot of lives. So, we recommend the flu shot yearly for all children. -Okay. Something parents don't really think about once they send their kids off to school is the dangers on the playground- -Yeah. -And how they can really hurt themselves. What do parents need to know? -Well, 70 percent of injuries occur from falls onto a hard surface at playgrounds and many serious injuries can occur even by falling just a foot. So, not very far at all. So, I think the most important thing to look for is that there's a padded surface present and that can be something like wood chips or a mulch but, certainly, not concrete or grass. The other thing I think is very important is to make sure the playground has regular inspections. So, rusty chains, equipment that's about to break is also something that's handled and repaired in a timely basis. -Okay. And another thing for parents to remember is the danger that may light- right I your child's backpack. -Yeah. -How do you keep them from injuring themselves, their backs, when they have to carry a lot of books home? -Well, I think about a backpack as almost being like a grocery bag and think about packing it the same way. So, you wanna put the heavy items at the bottom and make sure that you don't overfill the bag. The other thing that's important is, actually, using both straps when a child actually holds on to a backpack, which is something which is fairly obvious to us, but many children don't like because they think it's not very cool. -Okay. So, cleaning your hands at school- -Yes. -Safety on the playground and packing the backpack the correct way. -All great ways to get a healthy start to the year. -All right. Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, thank you so much for stopping by today. -Thank you. -Okay. -Thanks for watching Better. TV, always on with home, family, life. Email us at ideas@better.tv. Together, we make it better.