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WATER, AN INALIENABLE RIGHT?  Saturday, October 30, 2010

Health and hygiene is a focus of many physical education programs in public schools across the country. While teachers do their best to educate the next generation about better eating habits, many schools sadly fall short in supplying one of the most essential needs for a healthy diet: water. Sending a home-packed lunch with a refillable water bottle is one easy answer for elementary school kids, but brown-bagging it isn’t as cool with tweens and teens.

Senator Mark Leno is trying to change things in his home state of California. Last month he introduced a bill requiring schools to have access to free drinking water in cafeterias, so kids have an alternative to the sugary drinks sold in schools. With funding always an issue, many schools depend on vending machine sales to raise meet those budget gaps. State officials are now combing through contracts to make sure they can legally offer free water without violating their current agreements.


A HEALTHIER YOU  Friday, October 15, 2010

Along with shorter days and colder nights, comes cold and flu season. While germs are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from catching and spreading them.

First defense— hand washing. Stop the spread of germs before they start by washing your hands before preparing food, after using the restroom, and when you notice they are dirty. This is especially important for young children who tend to put them in their mouth. And remember there are two sides to every story, so work up a soapy lather on the tops and palms. Lastly, don’t use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes.

Drink plenty of fluids. Water is always the best choice, as it helps “flush” your system and keep you hydrated. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages which tend to deplete your body of water, and may interrupt your sleep cycle.

Proper rest. Try tucking in early when you feel the onset of a cold to give your body time to heal itself. Make sure you have a glass of water at your nightstand for middle of the night dry throat and add an extra pillow to elevate your head if you’re congested.

[Web MD]