Safe Barbecuing

With the warmer weather coming in and summer fast approaching I thought I would share a few tips on safe barbecuing your food as food poisoning almost doubles during the summer months, and the most common cause for this is the undercooking of raw meat and the contamination of bacteria onto the food that we eat. So following a few simple steps can help keep us safe during the BBQ season.

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  • To Avoid cross-contamination it is best to store raw meat separately before cooking. It is also a good idea to wash your chopping boards after each different meat or take another board. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry them before handling your food for the barbecue and after handling raw foods including meat,fish, eggs and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Disposable BBQs take longer to heat up and to cook food. So its important to always check that your meat is cooked right through before serving.
  • Don’t wash raw chicken or other meat, it just splashes germs. Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter. Also washing chicken, or other meats could spread dangerous bugs on to your hands, utensils and worktops by splashing water.
  • Pre-cook, it’s always a good idea to cook all chicken in the oven before giving it that finish on your barbecue for that special taste. This way can also be used for your sausages, burgers and kebabs to avoid undercooking.

  • Charred doesn’t mean cooked, cook your barbecue food thoroughly until you are sure that it is steaming hot and with no pink meat inside. Turning meat regularly and moving it around the barbecue will help to cook it evenly. Charred on the outside doesn’t always necessarily mean cooked on the inside so, it’s always safer to cut open and check your food before serving it. 

Coping When Children Get Chicken Pox

Recently my daughter got chicken pox and not surprising as it had been going around her school. She also ended up passing them on to her baby bother but I suppose its best he gets it over with now too.

On day one for my daughter she developed a couple of spots on her forehead and a few hours later more showed up on her tummy and back and then by the end of the next day lots more had spread over her body. I knew straight away that it was chicken pox as i remember having them as a child myself. The pox usually have a head on them so it easy to tell. She wasn’t terribly itchy during it all although i had told her not to be scratching as it could leave marks.She coped really well during the couple of weeks of having the poxs. I treated the spot by using calamine cream on them a few times during the day which helps to dry them up and it was most effect and work well on both my kids. My little man also coped really well with them but most of his pox ended up on his tummy. The picture is showing some of the spots he had on his back.

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Below is some information I have found on Chicken pox for a better insight.

Chicken pox is a common and mild childhood infection caused by the Varicella Zoster virus. Common symptoms of the condition include:
Vesicular rash
Fever
Malaise (feeling unwell)
Children will typically have been unwell for several days before the rash develops showing symptoms of headache, myalgia (muscle pain), nausea and loss of appetite – commonly referred to as prodromal symptoms. Neither for my children displayed any of the symptoms before the pox appeared but every child is different.
Chicken pox is highly contagious with approximately 90% of susceptible contacts developing the disease. Infected individuals will be contagious from 1-2 days prior to development of the rash and will remain infectious until the rash has crusted over.

Treatment
Treatment of chicken pox is symptomatic using antipyretic (paracetamol) and antipruritic (usually anti-histamines) agents.
Antipyretic agents will help to relieve pain and fever. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary advises that paracetamol is the antipyretic agent of choice for patients with chicken pox.
Antipruritic agents such as Chlorphenamine can be advised for children over 1 year to relieve the itch and discomfort whilst calamine lotion can also be recommended to relieve the itch. Some recent studies have suggested that calamine based creams may be more effective than the lotion.

Self-help advice
Avoid scratching the lesions as this can lead to scarring and secondary infection.
Adequate fluid intake will help to prevent dehydration- ice lollies are useful where the child’s mouth is sore.
Smooth cotton fabrics will be more comfortable to avoid overheating or irritating the skin.
Keeping finger nails short will minimise any damage to the skin from scratching.
Avoiding contact with patients at increased risk of the infection will help to reduce transmission.

How To Cope When Baby Catches A Cold

In the Past few Days my Little man has developed a cold and he was even nice enough to share it with the rest of the family too. Sometimes when babys have a cold we are not sure what we should be doing to help especially if you are a first time mum and you might worry a little so i thought i would share some of my ideas that you can try to help your baby feel better. If you are concerned about your little one or if babys temperate reaches over 38 degrees then its always a good idea to talk to your G.P just in case. Babies tend not to understand why they start to get a runny nose,sore throat and other aches. Unfortunately there is no cure for the cold other than to ride it out with them and we all know what a cold can feel like so it can be heartbreaking watching your little one suffer.

Here are some of my idea to help relieve symptoms  :

Medicine – This is the most obvious thing to give your baby but its important to give them the right medicine. If your baby has a high temperature then paracetamol based medicine is the best for example calpol. If your baby doesn’t have a temperature then you can give ibuprofen based medicine like nurofen but be sure to read the label on how much you can give based on your babys age and every brand is different. My little man is 9 months and he had 2.5mls of nurofen which I would only give to him if i feel he needs it and to be honest i have only been giving it to him at night so he can sleep through. Both these medicines will help to reduce your baby’s fever, and relieve aches, pains, headache and sore throat and should hopefully perk them up a little.

Drink Water – It’s very important to keep baby drinking lots even if they have no appetite for food and especially if they have a temperature as they will more than likely lose liquids from sweating lots.

Ice Lollys – This one is great for a sore throat and for teething. I would make ice lollys using cooled boiled water or if you want you can add a little dash of squash to give it some flavour for baby. To be honest I would only recommend this for babys over 6 months.

Vapour Oil – This is great to help your baby breath through the night. The one i used is called Olbas and i bought it from boots. You put a few drop on a tissue and leave it in baby’s room. It’s best to make sure its close to baby but also ensure that baby cant reach it or get a hold of it in any way. Its great stuff and even helps clear my own nose. Vapour oils are recommended for babys over 3 Months.

Steam – If you don’t want to use vapour oils a more natural way to clear babys nose is steam. The way that i would do this is to run the shower really hot and sit in the bathroom with baby, just be careful not to hold your little one to close the shower or they may get scalded.

Cuddles – Giving your little one lots of cuddles is good when there feeling under the weather as they don’t really know whats going on and sometimes mummy and daddy cuddles is better than medicine.

Every child is different and its best just to do what ever works for you and your little one. Hope some of these ideas are helpful when coping with a sick baby.

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