How parents can protect themselves from illness while caring for children

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DENVER -- With news of the mumps affecting a NHL players, some worry that childhood diseases are on the rise, but that's not the case in Colorado, where only one case of the mumps has been reported all year.

There's more of a concern about the cold and flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 30 percent increase in whooping cough cases since last year across the U.S., but Colorado's Tri-County Health Department says infectious disease cases among children here are decreasing.

“We've seen a pretty big decrease in those older communicable diseases that used to be quite common: Chicken pox,  the classic measles,  mumps,  rubella and that's because of the vaccines we have," Dr. Lauren Bergstrand of Rose Medical Center says.

It is still important for parents to remain healthy so they can care for their sick children, whether a common cold or pneumonia.

Bergstrand says that means creating a barrier between yourself and your child’s virus.

Hand washing and cleaning shared utensils is an easy way to prevent contamination.

Parents should teach children to wash their hands for at least 30 seconds and always sneeze into the inside of their arm.

“Some of my favorite things to (teach)  kids are the chicken wing or the Dracul,  which is when you sneeze or cough you pull up your ‘cape’ and cough," Bergstrand says.

If you or your child develop a fever of between 100 and 103 degrees, experience a loss of appetite or dryness from dehydration see a doctor right away.

 

Resources with ideas about keeping your family healthy:

 

 

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