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Key points from Rambod Rouhbakhsh MD

Summary of interview with family medicine expert Dr. Rouhkbakhsh with the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and APD at Forrest General Hospital Family Medicine Residency.  On Twitter: @DrHealthyBod @JrnlOccEnvMed


  • Embrace the fact that your children will get ill. It is an immune stressor that will help them be healthy for the rest of their lives.


  • Getting sick is a part of life so don't look at your child getting sick as a parenting fail. It is actually beneficial and will boost their immune system. 


  • It is uncommon to get the same virus more than one time.  Once you get a virus, your body builds up antibodies to fight against it. 


  • As we get older, we tend not to catch as many colds because we have been building up and fighting against different viruses our whole lives. 


  • Trust your intuition when it comes to illnesses. It's okay to visit the doctor and have symptoms turn out to be nothing. That way you learn what earns a visit to the doctor and what symptoms you can treat yourself. 


  • When your child looks different and it concerns you, act upon your intuition.


  • The cough is the most common symptom people get worried about. Typically if all you have is a cough, that should not cause concern. A cough can last up to 6-8 weeks. If you or your child is still coughing after that time period, it may be time to visit a doctor. That could be signs of asthma or reflux. 


  • The typical cold lasts for 7-10 days.


  • Hand sanitizer can be a vital resource when you aren't able to wash your hands. However, you don't want to become too reliant on hand sanitizers or antibacterial entities because the bugs can evolve to become resistant to them. 


  • It's not bad to have germs on your hands, but you'll get sick when you touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth, ears). Try to avoid touching these areas until you have cleansed your hands.


  • Infections don't last for weeks and weeks. Sometimes if your child is showing symptoms for a long period of time, it could mean they have allergies. Dark spots under the eyes, sniffling, clearing of the throat or a scratchy throat could be signs of allergies.



  • There is some evidence that tea tree oil is a deterrent for head lice. But the only way to cure it is to suffocate them and wash them out. 


  • Germs can stay on surfaces for hours and hours. Washing your hands frequently can help fight the germs and prevent sickness. 


  • If a fever spikes from 99 or 100 degrees to 104 degrees in a span of a couple hours, that may be a sign you should try to treat the fever. But if it's a low fever (under 102), there is no harm and it shouldn't be cause for concern. 

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