Should you get a flu shot and do you need one?

‘Should you get a flu shot and do you need one?’ was a post I wrote back in November 2016. A lot has happened since then but there is a good video here and some information that may help if we ever have to decide about a vaccine in the future.

So Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are both going for a shot at the title on November 8th but have they thought about whether they should go for a flu shot?

Clinton v Trump
Clinton v Trump (DaveManuel.com)

80 – 90 % of flu related deaths are in the ‘over 65’ category. So, Trump at 70 and Clinton at 68, are both in an ‘at risk category’ of flu this year. Trump and Clinton have not divulged whether they have had the shot or not. I know they must be busy right now but they should make time to consider the options.

Who should get a flu shot?

National flu campaigns have begun. Every country has them. And that’s for a good reason. In the US, 200,000 are hospitalised because of the flu. Although the biggest at risk category is the over 65’s who have certain medical conditions, other groups of people are also at risk of the flu virus. People with chronic diseases like heart, kidney or liver disease, people with asthma or respiratory problems, diabetics and people with weakened immune systems e.g. AIDS and HIV, cancer patients, pregnant women and very young children.

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The flu or just a cold? How do we know?

‘The flu or just a cold’ is a post I wrote back in November 2016. I thought in the present circumstances it might be good to share it again.

Unless you live in the Arctic, you will know it is that time of year again. The time when colds and flu sweep across the landscape and the nasty bugs propagate and smear themselves over every surface. Colds are annoying but they will eventually go after a few days.

Cold or flu? The misery of blowing one's nose.
Cold or flu?

But what if this is not a cold? What if it is flu? How do we know the difference?

According to the ‘Common Cold Centre‘ in Cardiff, there are 200 viruses that cause colds but only 3 that cause flu. Colds are associated with blocked noses, sore throats, sneezing and coughing. Flu has more severe symptoms including fever, fatigue and muscle ache. Cold symptoms develop over a couple of days and get better over the same period. Flu symptoms appear more quickly and usually last longer.

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Viruses – the facts and how to stay healthy

 

‘Viruses – the facts and how to stay healthy’ was a post I wrote back in November 2016. In the present circumstances I thought it might be helpful to share it again. God bless us all.

Viruses are all around us.

Here is a picture of the ‘Rhinovirus‘ also known as the ’cold virus’.

Rhinovirus

The rhinovirus – Wellcome Trust

  1. The rhinovirus (unlike its name) is very small. It is 1000 times smaller than a human cell.
  2. 1350 billion rhinoviruses can sit on a 1 pound or 1 euro coin.
  3. A cold virus is not alive. It comes to life by occupying another host.
  4. A cold virus survives best in cold, dry weather.
  5. You can’t catch a cold virus by kissing but you can by shaking hands!
  6. Viruses love eyes and noses.The yellow mucus sometimes produced from your nose during a cold is actually white blood cells.
  7. Cold viruses don’t make us feel ill. Our immune system response makes us feel unwell.
  8. The velocity of a sneeze is the same as a professional baseball pitcher, 150 km per hour. That’s fast!
  9. More children than adults catch colds ( not surprising when you see what children do when they sneeze!)
  10. Your race, gender, education and shape of your body does not make a difference whether you are more likely to catch a cold or not.

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Story read out loud- Peace at last by Jill Murphy

Front cover of book
Peace at Last picture book.

This is a story read out loud ‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy with activities included for young children to try.  It is an enjoyable gentle story aimed at 3 – 7 year olds but again most children enjoy it. It contains repetitive phrases and colourful illustrations.

This is the story of Father Bear who cannot get to sleep because of all the noises he hears in his house and garden. Eventually he gets to sleep only to be woken up by Mother Bear’s alarm clock.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include finding all the noises made on the different pages, finding the repetitive words and drawing a picture or a plan of the house and garden. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

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Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

This is a reading of the picture book Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. It is a funny story aimed at 4 – 8 year olds but again most children enjoy it. It contains rhymed verses and wonderful colourful illustrations.

This is the story of some very strange aliens. The thing they love most in the whole world is underpants and they come down to Earth to steal them.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include counting all the underpants on the different pages, finding the words that rhyme and thinking of some new words to rhyme. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

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Please help the children to upload anything they have drawn or written or to ask me any questions about the story. I’d love to hear from them.

Baby Brains by Simon James – a story read out loud by Amanda Miles

Baby Brains picture book

This is a reading of the picture book Baby Brains by Simon James. It is a funny story aimed at 4 – 7 year olds but most children enjoy it.

It tells the story of Baby Brains; the smartest baby in the whole world. He’s so clever that he leaves his family to go into the big world. But Baby Brains realises that sometimes you just want to be at home.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include drawing their favourite part of the story, writing out the story but their own version or story boarding; drawing a selection of small pictures and writing some words to tell the story. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

Of course there are many other activities that could be done following a reading of the story and over the course of the next few weeks I will endeavor to suggest different activities. I would love to see what the children have drawn or written and if they have any questions I’m happy to answer them. I used to be a Primary school teacher and because of the very difficult situation we are all facing I thought this might help parents out, at least for a short while.

Baby Brains

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