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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Keeping your family Healthy (by Eric Stevenson)

Keeping Your Family Healthy
by (Guest writer) Eric Stevenson
Family health is not just about applying Band-Aids and locking away the cleaning products.  Those are certainly important aspects, but it’s also crucial to think in the long term.  Kids who grow up with healthy habits are more likely to retain them later in life, so it’s always a good time to begin promoting good choices.

Nutrition can make a huge difference, not only in your children’s growth and development, but in your own life, too.  The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends a diet high in fruits and vegetables for maintaining optimum health and protecting against future diseases.  The antioxidants contained in these foods are rarely effective when taken in pill form – the actual fruit or vegetable must be eaten to receive the full benefits.  It may take some time and effort to change your family’s eating habits, but the CDC website offers recipes and budget tips for those desiring to make a change.

Being aware of common household toxins is extremely important, as well.  Not everything causes immediate symptoms, so you need to be aware of the potential “silent killers” in the home.  Radon gas can leak up from the ground into basements and ground floors.  It is colorless and odorless, though a simple home test kit can alert you to a problem area.  Additionally, asbestos can be found in many homes built before the 1980s.  In its intact form, it is rarely dangerous, but if damaged, it can release fibers into the air which can cause mesothelioma symptoms, a rare and deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs.  If you suspect you have damaged asbestos materials in your home, contact a professional for possible testing and removal – do not attempt it yourself.

These are not the only ways to maintain your family’s health, but they are important ones.  These changes are possible to make with a little awareness and creativity – if your children don’t like fruit, try making fruit pizza.  Protecting your family’s long-term health is the most important choice you can make.

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