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Bear Essentials Online - October 2010

What to Do to Prevent the Winter Flu

Need a refresher on how to deal with the flu this winter? Children's National has got you covered.

Preventing the flu
The best way to keep from getting sick from any kind of flu is to practice good hygiene:
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Wash hands frequently and properly. Use hot water and soap or waterless hand gels that contain alcohol. 
    • If you are using hot water and soap, rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Tell your kids to sing Happy Birthday and wash their hands the entire time. Washing your hands can help to prevent flu
    • If you or your child is using hand gel, rub your hands together until the gel is gone.
    • Be careful to not let your children ingest the waterless hand gel.
  • At home, keep surfaces clean, like table tops, door knobs, and phones.
    • Use cleaners that have chlorine or ammonia in them.
  • To avoid flu illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children older than 6 months get vaccinated for the seasonal flu.
If your child gets sick: What to expect
The flu makes most people feel sick all over. Common flu symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, dizziness, chills, and fatigue. Some also might have vomiting and diarrhea. Many people who get the flu can feel sick for five to seven days. Most children (and adults) get better with home treatment; they do not need to see the doctor or take special medicines.

If your child gets sick, follow these tips:
  • Keep your sick child home from school and other activities.
  • It's not easy, but try to keep your sick child away from siblings and others in your family so the illness does not spread.
  • Keep hands and surfaces clean.
  • Keep coughs and sneezes covered
    • Teach children to use tissues for sneezing and coughing.
    • If a tissue isn't available, teach them to sneeze or cough into their elbow, to keep germs off hands.
    • Teach children to use tissues for sneezing and coughing.
    • If a tissue isn't available, teach them to sneeze or cough into their elbow, to keep germs off hands.
Visit our Flu Resource Center for Flu Referral Guidelines, Flu Checklist for Parents and other downloadable information.

Introducing: Parent Letter Tuesdays

The Parents Letter Project Inspiring letters and videos by parents of Children’s National patients are just a click away every Tuesday.

Navigating the halls of a hospital or facing the challenge of having an ill child suffer from a health issue is a scary ordeal. Children’s National values the experience of parents who have “been there and done that” and through the Parent’s Letter Project, parents can learn from others’ past experiences and arm themselves with the knowledge to make it through this challenging process. Follow Children’s National on Facebook and Twitter every Tuesday for a featured parent letter of the week. In addition to the parent letters, parents now can watch videos on the Children’s National media center with an entire channel dedicated to the Parent’s Letter Project! Watch as parents who have been there discuss their journey at Children’s National Medical Center. No parent should embark on this road alone.

Help Dr. Bear Bring Cheer to Patients This Holiday

Santa may have a sleigh, but Dr. Bear has a closet! Help fill Dr. Bear’s Closet with toys for patients in the hospital for the holiday.

Dr. Bear's ClosetDr. Bear's Closet provides items to thousands of patients in Children's play rooms, waiting rooms, inpatient units, ambulances, the Emergency Department, Outpatient Centers, and the Health Centers. The Closet also provides personal care items, clothing, blankets, and other items for out-of-town families with patients being treated at Children's National.

If you choose to donate, please make sure your donations:

  • Are NEW (toys, stuffed animals, blankets, or clothes) to meet the hospital’s infection control requirements.
  • Meet consumer product safety codes – a toy's package will say if it meets the codes.
  • Include only non-toxic materials (toys or craft kits with glue or markers) – the package will say if it is.
We CANNOT accept:
  • Spark-producing toys due to fire regulations.
  • Regular Play-Doh. All Play-Doh must be gluten-free.
  • Latex (or rubber) balloons and materials because of latex allergy precautions and other safety factors.
  • Toys made of glass or brittle plastic.
  • Items with violent, frightening, or adult-rated themes.
  • Toys that can break or have sharp edges – toys should be sturdy.
Please view our wish list for more donation ideas.

Related video: First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, spreads holiday cheer to patients.

Save the Date for the 2011 NBC 4 Health & Fitness Expo

Join Children's National Medical Center at the annual NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo at the Washington Convention Center.

NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo Saturday, January 15
9am - 5pm

Sunday, January 16
9am - 5pm

Visit our booth to:

  • Learn about asthma, bone health, your child’s heart, concussions, food allergies, injury prevention, sickle cell disease, and other children's health topics.
  • Participate in children’s activities, such as taking milk mustache photos, touring the Junior OR, having a finger casted, and completing a fitness course.
  • Enroll children ages 4 to 12 in the Dr. Bear Club and get a Dr. Bear silly band..
  • Give blood on Children's Bloodmobile.
  • Learn how to become a volunteer.

Make Your Holiday Gift Go Twice as Far

Give health and hope to a child in the hospital. Children's National Medical Center Giving

The holidays are an especially tough time for kids to be in the hospital. You can help us give health and hope to families in the hospital right now.

With the generous support of donors this year, Children's National has been able to ensure that every child in our community gets world-class care, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Your gift will help us prepare for the challenging work we will face in the new year.

And if you donate online this month, your gift will go twice as far. Our friends at Food Lion have generously established a $300,000 Challenge Fund to help our kids. Any gift you make before December 31 will be matched dollar for dollar.

Make your gift today.

Delightful December Recipes

Feeling the holiday rush? Prepare these creative snacks in just 5 minutes!

Rudolph Sandwiches Rudolph Sandwiches
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Whole wheat sandwich bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Marachino cherries
  • Raisins
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and jelly on another.
  • Put the sandwich together.
  • Cut the crusts off the sandwich and cut the sandwich in two triangular pieces.
  • Put a dab of peanut butter on the back of two raisins and place the raisins on the sandwich for Rudolph's eyes.
  • Cut a Marachino cherry in half and place it in the corner of the triangle for Rudolph's nose.
  • Put two pretzels between the two slices of bread sticking out the top. Now Rudolph has antlers!
Serves: 1 (1 serving per sandwich)

Snowman on a Stick Snowmen on a stick
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Carrot
  • Apple
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Whole wheat pretzel sticks
  • For each snowman, you will need three thick slices of banana, a grape, a sliver of carrot, and a triangular piece of apple.
  • Place three banana slices on the skewer followed by the fruit.
  • On the banana slices, place a triangular carrot sliver for a nose, mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, and pretzel sticks for arms.
Serves: 1 (1 serving per snowman)

Partridge in a Pear Tree Partridge in a pear tree salad
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Green pear
  • Celery sticks
  • Red apple
  • Carrot slice
  • Marachino cherries
  • Coconut (optional)
  • Cut a long slice of pear then trim off lengthwise edges to form a tree trunk. Leave the peel on.
  • From a slice of the apple, with peel, cut a pot for the tree.
  • Cut a celery stick into thin strips, making an angled end cut so tree "branches" fit flush with the trunk.
  • Use a carrot slice to make a small bird that will top the tree.
  • Cut each Marachino cherry in half and place between tree “branches.”
  • Assemble each tree on a festive plate. If using coconut, sprinkle along the bottom edge of the plate for "snow."
Serves: 1 (1 serving per tree)


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