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sick child to schoolWhen school is in session, there is always the risk of your child catching a cold or getting the flu. But when do you keep your child at home?

It becomes a dilemma that have many moms have debated, and even now pushing for schools to clarify "When should you keep your child from school?" Whether your child is in preschool, daycare or at the grade school level, there is a growing belief that germs are just a part of the circle of school life. 

Doctors recommend to keep kids home if they have a fever over 100° F, acute runny nose or coughing, and any vomiting or diarrhea. Coughs can be signs of bronchitis or pneumonia, and fevers are often an indication of a viral infection. A tummy ache or the sniffles do not meet the criteria to keep them home.

But the Center For Disease Control and Prevention advises parents to keep kids with flu-like symptoms home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of fever without medication - even with anti-viral medications.

On average, a child misses school about 20 days per year, which over a 9 month period is just a few days per month. But with parents as role models and the average household income lacking, 90 percent of workers still come into work when they’re ill and contagious. If you have a mildly sick child, go over their symptoms to determine if they should be kept home or are probably OK to head off to class. 

kids washing handsIf you do send them to school with a mild cold, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises parents to teach their children to wash their hands, cover their mouths, use tissues and not their clothing, avoid direct contact with another child if they have just sneezed or coughed until they can go wash your hands. Nonetheless, they recommend that if your child is sick, they will likely get better faster by staying at home. 

Parents who work have another issue with keeping children home. They may not have sick days available or feel guilty staying home when they’re healthy.

So here are some good tips for parents who work:

  • Save some personal days for child sick days.
  • Have a back up babysitter! There are many quick babysitter services now like Urban Sitter
  • Watch for warning signs and do your best to boost their immune system

It isn’t easy being a parent. It's no fun having a cold, but prevention is key. Plus have a plan for that common cold that happens when you least expect it, because you know it will!

With busy schedules and no time for heading to the gym, why not get the whole family together to get in your workouts. Plus there’s just a few weeks left of summer and you’re spending quality time together. Most likely, they might not notice the exercise part of it because they’re having so much fun!

Here are 5 ways to get the family fit!

family-hula hoopHula-hoop fitness. There are many DVD’s on the market to follow along with for workouts on your own but pick up a few inexpensive plastic hula-hoops and get swinging. Play games with who can hula the longest amount of time with the hula hoop on their hips, arms and legs. Lie down and see if you can hula with your feet. It’s a great core workout and with a little practice or friendly competition you’ll burn off a few calories in no time.

family-park 1Namaste yoga. Yoga is a great activity and whether you have a few yoga mats of beach towels, practicing some basic moves with your kids can be fun. Plus growing can be stressful on the body and yoga has been proven to improve balance, focus and emotional wellbeing. Not a yoga expert, no worries, the Butterfly, Tree, Bridge, and Child’s pose are moves any child and parent can do together.

family-danceDance like an Egyptian. Pulling together a fun place list and moving furniture out of the way to open up a dance floor in your living room can be a great activity to try together. Each person can share their favorite song and dance moves. Some favorites to dance to are “Time of My Life” by Pitbull, “Waka Waka” by Shakira and who doesn’t love the “Cha Cha Slide.”

Park it. Take your family to the park, bring snacks and play on the playground together. Cross fit has many moves that you can practice at the park like the monkey bars, running up slides and jumping up on curbs. Share some moves that the little ones can try or help your child use their imagination as they swing, slide and climb to victory while you channel your inner kid and fly through the air on the swing set.

family-bikeRide off into the sunset. Biking is great exercise, but can be great for family bonding. If you don’t own your own bike, no worries, many towns have affordable bike rentals. Just make sure your family is wearing proper protective headgear and pads for the junior riders. For babies and toddlers, there are seats that attach to your bike or towing wheels to put the little ones in. Best of all you’ll be outdoors enjoying the fresh air.

family-slip slideGet wet. Take out the old Slip and Slide or duck tape a few garbage bags together and pour on the water. The slippery surface is fun to take a little run and slide on your belly like a seal. It’s an expensive toy to pick and will get everyone sliding and cooled off.

Remember, as parents and adults, we help model our kids behaviors. So make a memory and get active with your family and make sure to capture it on tape to watch later. That might inspire more active moments.

With busy schedules and no time for heading to the gym, why not get the whole family together to get in your workouts. Plus there’s just a few weeks left of summer and you’re spending quality time together. Most likely, they might not notice the exercise part of it because they’re having so much fun!

migraine starting

Migraines affect more than 3 million people per year.  Migraines are pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head. Physical activity may intensify the pain, but symptoms can vary from one person to another. New data reveals that the burden of chronic migraine extends beyond those living with the condition, significantly impacting family members as well. According to a web-based study of nearly 1000 women and men with Chronic Migraine, respondents reported missed activities and lost time with partners and children, as a result of the condition.


At the first sign of a migraine, retreat from your usual activities if possible.

  • Turn off the lights. Migraines often increase sensitivity to light and sound. Relax in a dark, quiet room. Sleep if you can.
  • Try temperature therapy. Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck. Ice packs have a numbing effect, which may dull the sensation of pain. Hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles. Warm showers or baths may have a similar effect.
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage. In small amounts, caffeine alone can relieve migraine pain in the early stages or enhance the pain-reducing effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and aspirin.


What should you do if you start to get a migraine?

According to Dr. Susan W. Broner of the Manhattan Headache Center, If you haven’t yet received an official diagnosis, the first thing to do is have a conversation with your doctor. The new ID-Chronic Migraine (ID-CM) Screener Tool, which was developed by a team of headache experts and uses the most recent headache classification guidelines, may help you better communicate your symptoms and the impact they are having on your everyday life. You can access the tool at HealthyWomen.org/ChronicMigraineCenter.
If you have been diagnosed, work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. 

What trusted sources are out there to find more information?
If you suspect you have Chronic Migraine, it’s critical to seek a consultation with a healthcare provider, like a neurologist or headache specialist. To find one in your area, you can visit www.MyChronicMigraine.com.

Depending on your symptoms and treatment plan, lying down in a dark room, drinking fluids or taking medication right away may be helpful.

susan bronner2Susan W. Broner, M.D. is Medical Director of the Manhattan Headache Center. During seven years she served as attending neurologist at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. . After completing her neurology residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine she completed her Headache Fellowship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. She received her Doctorate of Medicine from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook School of Medicine.


teens on socialSocial media has been sweeping our free-time resulting in poor self-image, comparison depression, and overall poor mental health. The average time on the Internet is 4 hours and 25 minutes but according to new data, the average user logs 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, which represents about 28 percent of all online activity. Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the most popular social networking sites. 

Another new study just released more information on the downside of social media. Sampasa-Kanyinga and study co-author Dr. Rosamund Lewis reported their findings online recently in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, which showed a link in the use of social networking sites to mental health problems.

Sampasa-Kanyinga noted that the "use of social networking sites can lead to poor mental health, and poor mental health may be a reason why youth use social networking sites. That said, it could be that kids with mental health problems are seeking out interactions, as they are feeling isolated and alone. Or it could be that greater time online exposes one to more opportunities for cyberbullying, for instance."

The study comprised of 750 students enrolled in grade 7 through 12 in Ottawa reported their time spent on social networking sites and the internet. Almost half of the group reported two hours of less daily on social sites. A little over 25% reported they spent more than 2 hours a day on social networking sites. Only one-fifth of them said they rarely spent time on social sites. About 37% of the students described their mental health as “good” or “poor”, while the majority said they were “very good” to “excellent”. However, about 13% said they contemplated suicide.

Although no cause and effect can be determined, those who reported poor health and/or contemplated suicide spent more than two hours daily on these sites. 


After a summer filled with fun and play, it can be hard to get back in the swing of things once the school bells start ringing again. “Routine” becomes the name of the game from homework to packing lunches. It can all get a little stale – but it doesn’t have to be.


We can’t do anything about the homework, but we can help with the lunches. The goal is to be healthy and keep our kids fueled up through the day all while packing something they will actually eat. 

That’s where StarKist® Albacore White Tuna can really help out by providing a flavorful and heart-healthy meal option. By choosing StarKist® for your child’s lunch, you’re giving them at least 12g of protein and 110mg of omega-3’s per serving – a great way to energize their midday meal and keep them feeling full all day long!

Healthy-back-to-school-routine-2Back to School Suggestion: Pack lunches the night before or at least prep the ingredients so all you have to do in the morning is put them together. Not only will you have more time in the morning, you will feel more organized when you go to bed just knowing you have it all planned out. 

StarKist® also makes it easy to be creative when you’re getting into the back to school routine. Whether you’re planning a large meal for the family or just prepping an afternoon snack, it’s easy to satisfy cravings and fill up any tummy!

Photo Credit: StarKist® 

Back to School Suggestion: Before serving tuna to your children, let them get involved in making the meal! As you prep, you can talk to them about how healthy tuna is and why it is important to eat healthy food. After all, StarKist® tuna is low fat, heart-healthy and certified by the American Heart Association®.


Now… no one likes the same snack every day. 

Check out this list of quick recipe ideas that can help you make both lunchtime and snack time a winner. 

6 Easy StarKist® Albacore White Tuna Recipes 

  1. Nutty Tuna Salad Pita
  2. Tuna and Feta Cheese Salad
  3. Wasabi Tuna Lettuce Wraps
  4. Waldorf Salad
  5. Broccoli, Tuna and Tomato Salad
  6. Basil & Olive Oil Flatbread

Need some more fun tuna ideas – StarKist® has you covered. Click here for more recipes.