The Common Cold

It's always a GOOD IDEA to be proactive about the common cold!  Here are some good reminders on what a cold is, and how to cope with it.

As we approach Cold and Flu season, parents are already frantically washing their kid’s hands.  We yell at them to NOT touch ANYTHING in the public washrooms.  It’s like a plague, and we just want to stay away from any sort of sickness.

Not only do we feel sorry for our little ones when they catch cold, or worse stomach flu, but we also have to worry about ourselves.  First off, if we get sick, how are we to care for our loved ones?  And secondly, if we get sick, how are we ever going to take time off of work?! 

The Calgary Health Region gives out pamphlets year round to help us understand The Common Cold
1.) What is a cold? 
The cold is an illness caused by a virus.  There are over 100 different cold viruses.  Colds can occur any time of the year. 

2.) How is a cold spread? 
A cold can be spread when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes tiny drops into the air or onto objects.  People who breathe in or are in direct contact with these drops (example: by touching their nose or eyes with contaminated hands) can get the disease.
This is why we try to teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows!

3.) How long does a cold last?
A cold usually lasts about 7 to 10 days.  It can be spread to other people one day before, and up to 5 days after symptoms appear. 

4.) How is a cold treated?
Antibiotics DO NOT help a cold, because it is caused by a virus, not bacteria.  There is no specific treatment for a cold, but to ease symptoms you can eat healthy foods and drink lots of water, juice and warm liquids, rest, gargle with salt water to help throat pain, take pain or fever medicine as needed (ASA products such as Aspirin are not recommended for children) and use a cool-mist vaporizer. 

5.) When do you go see a doctor for a cold?
When you have a fever for more than 2 days.  See below for a guide on *Normal temperatures.
If a child is under 3 months who has a fever.
If there is pain on one or both ears (small children may tug on their ears when they have pain)
If you have trouble breathing or pain in your chest.
If you have a very painful and red throat

6.) How can a cold be prevented? 
            Wash your hands
            Keep your hands away from your nose and eyes
            Don’t share drinks, cups, spoon or forks with a person who is sick
            Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle

For more information call the Health Link 403-943-LINK (5465), 1-866-408-LINK or Communicable Disease Control at 403-944-7075

This is actual information taken from The Calgary Health Region pamphlet given to me from the Alberta’s Children’s Hospital.  (This material is designed for information purposes only.  It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment.  If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional. 

*Temperature Guide for children:

Fever is one way your child’s body fights an infection.  The most common illness in children is infection from a virus.  There are thousands of different viruses.  Fever can also be caused by an infection with bacteria.  Fever itself will not harm your child.  How high the fever is does NOT tell you how serious your child’s illness is.  How your child acts is a better sign.  Normal temperatures* in children are:
·        Rectal: 36.6 - 38.0 °C (97.9 – 100.4 °F)
·        Mouth: 35.5 - 37.5 °C (95.9 - 99.5 °F)
·        Underarm: 34.7 – 37.3 °C (94.5 – 99.1 °F)
·        Infants under 60 days: 36.3 – 37.3 °C (97.3 – 99.1 °F)
·        Ear: 35.8 – 38.0 °C (96.4 – 100.4 °F) (not recommended in infants)
                        *Canadian Pediatric Society
A baby less than 3 months old with a fever needs to be seen by a doctor. 

Calgary Heath Region Link – Caring for a child with a fever          
Calgary Health Region Link – The Common Cold 
Alberta Health Services Link - http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/

Christina Rowsell ~ September 2011


The Calgary Zoo

When we usually go to the zoo we head straight to see the Hippo's and Giraffes!  But not this time.  We thought since the Hippo's were "unavailable" today, why not take a walk into the Canadian Wild!  WOW!  Why haven't I gone in there before.  Maybe I thought because I live here, I've seen it all.  Okay I've seen the Bighorn Sheep driving through the Rockies, and the Mountain Goats on my way to BC... BUT

 This owl is something I've never seen before.  The biggest, most beautiful owl I've ever seen!  I was in reach of him, and he just posed for my camera.  It was truly amazing!  WOW! 

Now, here's a bird I've seen.  Mostly along the ponds and side lakes in Alberta.  The beautiful Whooping Crane. 

And this magnificent bird, the Bald Eagle.  They are able to live anywhere in North America where there are suitable nest trees, roosts and prey species.

And a familiar animal to Canadians, the Grizzly Bear and Black Bears!  These ones at the Calgary Zoo were enjoying a lazy day in the sun. 

And the cougars!  Wow.  Big kitty.  Growing up in the Kootenays in BC you know there's cougars in the mountains, but I've never been this close to one.  Nice kitty. 

The Calgary Zoo is a GREAT place to take the young and old.  If you plan on going at least 3 times, then pick up a seasons pass.  We usually get an Engage adult seasons pass, Connect gate passes for the kids, and a Connect Gate Guest pass.  This way you can take a guest like your husband, grandparent, nanny with you.  And it's not specific for one person.  In total, for us paying 2 adults, one child and one infant (free) it came to $170.  That's for the whole year.  If you buy a one day  general admission pass for the same people it'll be $55 PLUS parking $5.00 for a total of $60.00 for the day.  So your membership will pay off in 3 visits.  For more information visit their website at http://www.calgaryzoo.org/.
Christina Rowsell ~ September 2011