Do your children attract colds the way a bird feeder makes hungry squirrels come running? With some simple precautions, you may be able to keep your children free from infections this cold and flu season, or at least relieve their symptoms faster and reduce their number of sick days.

While adults average only about 2 to 4 colds a year, many children have 10 or more, especially if they’re in close contact with other little ones at school or day care centers. If you want to beat those odds, take a look at this guide to preventing colds.

Fighting Colds by Encouraging Cleanliness:

1. Wash your hands. The most effective way to stop colds is to keep your hands clean, and keep them away from your face, especially your eyes. Teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap for about 20 seconds at a time.

2. Check your nails. Remember to scrub under fingernails too, because that’s where germs get trapped. Keep your child’s nails trimmed short and use a nail brush to be thorough.

3. Switch your towels. A dirty towel will undo all your good intentions. Consider using disposable towels, or wash cloth towels daily, when a family member is ill.

4. Disinfect toys. Stuffed toys and other playthings can transfer germs too. Clean hard surfaces with diluted bleach. Hand wash teddy bears or put them in a plastic bag with baking soda, and give them a shake.

5. Limit sharing. Show your child how to share safely. Train them to use their own drinking glass and water bottle.

Fighting Colds by Changing How You Feed Your Kids:

1. Eat up. Starving a cold is a myth. Serve your child a balanced and nutritious diet that will keep their energy up.

2. Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of liquids is good advice. Water or tea will loosen up congestion, and warm beverages feel good on scratchy throats.

3. Sip soup. Chicken soup is another home remedy that makes sense. In addition to keeping your child hydrated, it provides essential nutrients.

4. Try vitamins. A number of studies suggest that products with ingredients like vitamin C or zinc may not provide any special benefits. However, if you don’t mind the cost, you might want to see if they work for you.

Other Strategies for Fighting Colds:

1. Use a humidifier. Humidifiers can reduce coughing and make it easier to breathe by adding moisture to dry winter air. Clean them regularly to avoid mold.

2. Gargle with saltwater. Your probably know that salt can soothe a sore throat, but it may also prevent colds in the first place. Some studies show that even gargling with plain water leads to fewer colds, and it costs nothing.

3. Cover your mouth. Encourage your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. Germs are more easily transmitted by touch than by air, but it’s still the polite thing to do.

4. Warm your feet. Many studies have cast doubt on the belief that you’ll catch a cold if you go outside without a coat or hat. On the other hand, there is some evidence that keeping your feet warm helps, so let your kids wear footed pajamas or socks to bed.

5. Play outdoors. Whatever they wear, your children will benefit from spending time outdoors. Some research suggests that vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of infection by 10%, and sunshine can have similar effects.

Practicing good hygiene and eating lots of chicken soup will help your child to avoid colds or recover faster. Either way, your whole family could have fewer sore throats and runny noses this winter.

For most travelers, the only thing scary about going to the airport is the long security lines, and expensive fees for excess baggage. However, millions of adults experience more serious symptoms that can interfere with holiday plans and business trips.

In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 25% of Americans are nervous about flying, and about 7% meet the diagnostic criteria for aviophobia. If you’re one of them, try these strategies that can help calm your nerves.

Practicing Self-help for Fear of Flying:

1. Breathe deep. Breathing from your diaphragm lowers stress and tells your brain that it’s okay to relax. Inhale through your nose, drawing air up from your lower abdomen to your chest and throat. Exhale through your nose, releasing air in the opposite direction.

2. Meditate. Meditation encourages positive thinking as well as slow breathing. Focus on a pleasant mental image or repeat a soothing mantra.

3. Look out the window. Fixing your gaze on the horizon can steady your nerves. You’ll see how level the plane is, even during turbulence.

4. Close your eyes. On the other hand, you might prefer to close your eyes. The lack of visual input fights nausea, and the darkness may help you sleep.

5. Change your seat. Upgrade to first class if your budget permits. You’ll be able to board and depart the plane faster. If money is tight, pick a seat as close to the center of the plane as possible for a smoother ride. The rear seats tend to be bumpiest.

6. Learn the facts. Research safety statistics about air travel compared to driving or other forms of transportation. It may put your mind to rest.

7. Avoid alcohol. Resist the temptation to drink whisky to boost your courage. Becoming dehydrated will just add to your discomfort.

8. Eat light. Be gentle with your queasy stomach. Consume small portions and pass on anything greasy and spicy.

9. Wear your seat belt. Follow the pilot’s instructions to keep your seat belt fastened whenever you’re sitting down. While injuries from turbulence are rare, it’s a sensible precaution.

10. Use distractions. Listen to music, solve word puzzles, or read a sensational thriller. Do anything that takes your mind off the altitude.

Seeking Outside Help for Fear of Flying:

1. Tell the flight crew. If you’re very anxious about flying, you may want to mention it to a flight attendant. Acknowledging your fears can sometimes make them less intense.

2. Ask your doctor. Your physician can advise you about over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs for motion sickness and anxiety. Some travelers also use natural remedies like ginger.

3. Download an app. There are many free or inexpensive apps designed to alleviate fear of flying. Browse online for a product that deals with your triggers, whether you dislike cramped spaces or worry about safety issues.

4. Take a course. A number of airlines offer courses to help their passengers learn to fly more comfortably, and they’re usually staffed by real pilots and flight attendants. Plus, the curriculum usually includes a test flight so you can practice what you learned.

5. See a therapist. If fear of flying is interfering with your life, you might benefit from talking with a therapist who specializes in anxiety issues and phobias. Many patients have found relief through treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Self-help techniques and professional assistance can help you minimize any anxiety or nausea you experience during air travel. As your fear of flying decreases, you’ll be able to enjoy your travels more and arrive at your final destination feeling cool and collected.

Meditation is a powerful tool, but it’s not the only way to calm your mind. Consider these tricks to find peace and inner calmness.

Try these ideas the next time you want to calm your mind and feel better:

1. Breathe. The simple act of breathing can help you calm down quickly and reduce anxiety. Breathing can help you focus on the moment and forget your worries. A few deep breaths help relax your muscles as your cells receive the extra oxygen.

* Learn simple breathing exercises or just breathe deeply.

2. Show gratitude. By showing gratitude, you can change your focus and find peace. Being thankful and saying it can help you see the positive things that are around you.

* Send an email, talk on the phone, or write a note to someone that you would like to thank.

* When stopping and giving thanks, you’re also living in the present moment. When your mind is on the present moment, there’s no room for worrying about the future or regretting your past.

3. Smile. How often do you smile during the day? Do you smile at strangers as well as friends?

* Smiling can instantly boost your mood. It can help relax the body and mind, help the immune system, and reduce stress.

* Research published in the journal Psychological Science shows that even a fake smile can have a positive effect on the body. The act of smiling positively affects the brain.

4. Go for a hike or enjoy nature. If meditation doesn’t appeal to you because it involves sitting, then go for a hike or find another way to enjoy nature. Explore a park, trail, or other natural area near you.

* Notice the sounds, smells, and visuals in front of you as you walk.

* Nature can have a soothing impact on the brain and body.

5. Turn off your phone and other devices. Constant communication and connection can make it hard to have a calm mind. Turn off your phones, tablets, computers, and other devices to find peace.

* By disconnecting from technology for brief periods of time, you’ll be able to relax.

6. Play with your pet. If you’re lucky to have a dog, cat, or other animal, play with them to find calmness. Research shows that pets can help people stay calm and relax.

* Try petting your dog or cat for an extended period of time. Only focus on them and don’t think about other issues.

* Consider taking your pet for a walk and getting exercise at the same time.

7. Do some type of manual labor. Sometimes, manual labor such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn can help calm the mind. Exercise can boost brain chemicals that make you happy.

* Manual labor can help you forget issues by forcing you to focus on completing the tasks.

* Look for activities that need to be done at home or at work. Do the dishes, vacuum, clean out closets, or organize cabinets. Sort the garage or attic, try gardening, or pull weeds. If you’re finished with tasks at home, reach out to friends and neighbors to help them.

Although meditation can be important, it’s not the only way to stay calm. Consider trying other methods and experimenting until you find the ones that work best for you.

What do registered dietitians avoid when they’re eating at home or out at a restaurant? The answer may surprise you. You already know they wouldn’t indulge in fast food or fried items, but their other avoidance foods are unusual.

Consider these choices and talk to your own dietitian:

1. Fat-free salad dressings. Health experts know that the fat-free salad dressings you can purchase in most stores are misleading.

* Fat-free salad dressings tend to compensate for the removal of fat by adding more sugar and salt. They may also add other unhealthy ingredients like chemicals.

* Registered dietitians don’t want to eat emulsifying agents commonly found in this product.

2. Refortified grains. These are grains that have been refined, but important nutrients are added back to refortify them.

* Registered dietitians don’t eat refortified grains and don’t recommend them.

* Although they have nutrients added back, they are not as healthy as the real versions that are whole grains. It’s better to stick to whole products like unrefined wheat, rice, and corn.

* Companies often use synthetic versions of minerals and other nutrients to refortify grains, and your body may not absorb or utilize them as well as the natural versions.

3. Rice cakes. If you’ve been on a diet before, you’ve probably eaten rice cakes. Rice cakes tend to taste bland. Although there are some flavored versions on the market, people still complain about their blandness. Plus, they’re not as healthy as they seem.

* Registered dietitians don’t often eat rice cakes. Rice cakes can spike your blood sugar levels and they have a detrimental, high glycemic index.

4. Diet soda. You’ll often see people choose diet soda over regular because they think they’re making a wiser decision. However, registered dietitians won’t drink it.

* Diet soda isn’t a healthier option. It has artificial sweeteners that have been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

* You may think that by drinking diet soda you’ll lose weight. However, the opposite is true, and the word diet is very misleading in its name. You may actually gain weight and hurt your health.

5. Pretzels. Pretzels tend to have a lot of calories and salt. They’re also high in carbohydrates. In most cases, they lack fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

* You may think they’re a healthier alternative to chips, but the truth is that they’re just as bad. Both types of food can hurt your weight loss plans and spike your blood sugar levels.

6. Farm-raised shrimp. The fact that many registered dietitians won’t eat farm-raised shrimp surprises people.

* This type of shrimp isn’t the healthiest option because it can be filled with chemicals and antibiotics. You really don’t have any way of knowing what additives might be in your shrimp from the farm.

* Unfortunately, it can be hard to find shrimp that isn’t raised on a farm.

* Ask where your shrimp is from and try to avoid the farmed versions. One report found high levels of bacteria in farmed shrimp, so ask questions before buying them and ensure you know they’re safe.

Registered dietitians avoid some items that many people think are healthy. Their training and experience has shown them that it’s better to avoid these specific products. Take advantage of their knowledge and use it to help you and your family be healthier.

Cold and dark winter mornings might make you feel like pulling the covers over your head, but the last months of the year could be a productive time. Leave hibernating to the bears while you spend the winter making positive changes in your life.

The possibilities are endless. Start with this list of ideas for your professional and personal makeover, and add some projects of your own.

Changes to Make in Your Professional and Financial Life:

1. Learn new skills. Modern workplaces undergo rapid change. Continuous learning helps you to remain competitive. Take a class that will certify you for project management or a popular software package. Shadow another employee who has a job that interests you.

2. Attend networking events. Browse online or check the calendar in industry publications to find events that can help your career. Your employer may be willing to pay the expenses if it’s related to your current responsibilities.

3. Reach out to former colleagues. When is the last time you talked with your former supervisor? Staying in touch keeps your network strong, so send them an intriguing article or invite them out to lunch.

4. Tidy up your office. Banishing clutter makes it easier to think clearly. Develop a filing system that works for you, and clear off your desk at the end of the day.

5. Use your vacation days. Many employees fail to use their leave time even though studies show it makes us more productive. Plan an exotic adventure or a family getaway.

6. Update your resume. Keeping your resume current is a smart move even when you’re not actively searching for a job. It will be easier for you to track your accomplishments and think about your career path.

7. Pay off debts. Becoming debt-free reduces stress and raises your future standard of living. Pay off your most expensive debts first and talk with a counselor if you need assistance.

8. Increase your savings. Put money aside from each paycheck. You’ll feel more secure preparing for your retirement or your children’s college education.

Changes to Make in Your Personal and Spiritual Life:

1. Meditate daily. Mindfulness helps you to feel peaceful and accomplish more. Set aside time each day for quiet contemplation. Even a few minutes makes a big difference.

2. Eat more vegetables. Consuming more vegetables and fruits is one of the simplest and most effective changes you can make in your diet. Try adding one additional serving a day for a week.

3. Limit processed foods. Replace processed foods with whole foods. You’ll avoid excess sugar and salt and unhealthy fats.

4. Exercise regularly. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy. Buy a gym membership or go running in the park. Lift weights or play volleyball.

5. Sleep well. Give your body good quality rest and sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Darken your bedroom, and block out distracting noises with a fan or pink noise machine.

6. Manage stress. Stress can lead to chronic inflammation. Experiment with relaxation practices like yoga, massage, or listening to instrumental music.

7. Enjoy family dinners. It can be difficult to carve out family time in a busy schedule. Designate at least one night a week when you can sit down together and talk over a nutritious meal.

8. Make new friends. Maybe you moved to a new city, or you find that you now have less in common with your old college buddies. Expand your circle by meeting others who share your current interests. Start a book club or join a neighborhood association.

Greet the spring with a sense of optimism and a host of constructive new habits. Your future will look brighter when you spend the winter taking steps to make your life more healthy, joyful, and meaningful.

If you want to keep your love alive, it’s important to work at nurturing your relationship. Sometimes that means a grand gesture, and sometimes it’s a matter of paying attention to the small stuff. Otherwise, you may start taking each other for granted and drift apart.

Whether you’re newlyweds or you’ve been living together for many years, you can keep your connection strong. Try these romantic and practical ideas for showing your partner just how much they mean to you.

Romantic Ways to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them:

1. Display affection. Greet your partner warmly each time they come home. Hold hands at the movies or walking around the neighborhood.

2. Write love notes. Create your own poetry or borrow quotations from Keats and Neruda. Stick Post-its with sentimental messages on the bathroom mirror or kitchen coffee pot. Put a love letter in your spouse’s luggage when they leave on a business trip.

3. Shower them with gifts. Presents can be inexpensive as long as they’re thoughtful. Bring home a movie your wife will love or a new novel by her favorite author. Buy your husband scented lip balm or drive across town to get the brand of salsa he prefers.

4. Spring a surprise. Wake up early and serve breakfast in bed on an otherwise routine weekday morning. Send your children to their grandparent’s house for the weekend, and spend a couple of quiet days together.

5. Laugh it up. It’s okay to have fun while you’re working on your relationship. Feel free to be silly. Sing songs from old commercials or dress up like a ghost. Reminisce about the blunders you made on your first date or during your early attempts at parenting.

6. Share your dreams. Talk about your plans and goals. Common values are even more important than liking the same pastimes.

7. Arrange date nights. Take turns planning a date night each week. You need some couple time away from children and chores.

Practical Ways to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them:

1. Listen closely. Knowing your partner will help you speak their love language. Validate their feelings and concerns. Try to understand their perspective even when you disagree.

2. Do chores. Sharing the housework speaks volumes about your love and respect for each other. Claim the tasks you excel at or take turns.

3. Apologize promptly. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. Be quick to forgive when your partner has a lapse.

4. Cheer them on. Give each other your full support. Listen actively and ask questions when your spouse describes their current projects. Celebrate their victories and empathize with their setbacks.

5. Work out together. Staying fit can give you more years to spend together. Sign up for a family or couple’s gym membership. Search for a sport that you both enjoy such as volleyball or tennis. Build a workout area at home where you can train together even on rainy days.

6. Find a hobby. Make your leisure time more enriching and develop interests that will draw you closer together. If you both love astronomy, buy a telescope, become members at your local science museum, and visit observatories when you travel.

7. Give each other space. While it’s important to spend time together, each of us needs our independence too. Let your partner know it’s okay when they want to spend some time alone or hang out with their friends.

8. Keep growing. Developing your potential may be the most profound way to express your love. The more you have, the more you can contribute to your relationship.

Maintain the magic in your relationship by asking yourself how you can make your spouse feel special. Loving words and actions will help keep you strong and united.

As a parent, you want your kids to have happiness, health, and success. Even if you don’t have a magic wand you can wave, you have the power to bring these things about by influencing the way your children think. One good place to start is by encouraging optimism.

A positive outlook boosts your immune system and helps you to live longer. When you look on the bright side, you build up your resilience and achieve more.

If that’s the kind of legacy you want to pass on to your children, consider these strategies. They’ll help you to raise optimistic sons and daughters.

Steps for You to Take Yourself:

1. Be a role model. Your children will follow your example. The more you demonstrate the power of optimism, the more likely they are to pick up on your sunny outlook.

2. Accentuate the positive. Make it a habit to focus on the upside of any situation. Transform disappointments and irritations by turning them into lessons. If a camping trip gets rained out, show your children how to be flexible. Pitch your tent in your living room.

3. Show gratitude. Counting your blessings helps you to see the world as a friendly place. List the things you have to be thankful for.

4. Choose empowering words. How often do you catch yourself complaining? Replace defeatist statements with positive affirmations.

5. Be realistic. Optimism needs to be grounded in facts. Acknowledge challenges while you focus on solutions.

6. Take action. Optimism also needs to be backed up by action in order to succeed. Seize control of your life and remember that you can handle anything that comes your way.

Steps to Take with Your Children:

1. Set high expectations. Children build confidence by living up to the responsibilities you give them. Teach them to believe in their abilities to excel at school, play sports, and make friends.

2. Encourage independence. It’s natural to want to intervene when your child is hurting. On the other hand, they grow more when you step back and let them fix their own challenges.

3. Take risks. Reward your child for taking sensible risks. Give them credit for speaking up in class or trying to ski for the first time.

4. Leverage strengths. Notice what your child likes to do and what they’re good at. When they succeed at a task, help them to analyze what they did well, and how they can build on their achievements.

5. Learn from experience. When your child has a setback, talk about what they can do differently next time. Help them see that their sadness or frustration is temporary.

6. Engage in creative play. Feed your child’s imagination with activities that help them to express themselves and develop their skills. Build a theatre out of a cardboard box so you can put on puppet shows. Paint pictures and do crafts. Creative thinking stirs up hopes and dreams.

7. Share affection. Studies show that children who receive plenty of love and affection feel more secure about their future. Listen closely to what your child has to say so they’ll know that they’re important to you. Hug them when they leave for school in the morning and come home in the afternoon.

8. Give praise. Positive reinforcement will help your children to value themselves and develop constructive habits. Tell them that you’re proud of them for studying hard and being kind to their neighbors.

Optimists are made, not born, so you can teach your children to see the glass as half full. Positive thinking will help them to make sound decisions and deal effectively with life’s challenges.

Cauliflower often gets a negative rap because it’s associated with broccoli, and most of the time, kids don’t like it. However, cauliflower is low-calorie, has multiple health benefits, and is easy to add to different recipes. You can even disguise the taste!

Consider these benefits:

1. Lower cancer risk. Research shows that cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower can reduce the risk of cancer.

* Cauliflower has several compounds that have shown an ability to make cancer less likely in humans. Don’t miss out on this vital health benefit!

2. Potassium. Bananas tend to get most of the attention for their potassium levels, but cauliflower is also a great source of this mineral. Cauliflower has a high amount of natural potassium that can benefit your body. It is estimated that a cup of raw cauliflower can have 320 mg. of potassium.

* Potassium is important because it helps to help regulate your blood pressure and other body systems.

3. Vitamin C. Oranges aren’t the only food source of vitamin C. Even though cauliflower is white, it still has high amounts of this vitamin. That same cup of raw cauliflower has an estimated 52 mg. of vitamin C.

* Vitamin C boosts your immune system and fights free radical damage inside of your cells.

4. Glucosinolates. These compounds are found in cauliflower and may be responsible for its ability to fight cancer. The compounds have sulfur in them and affect the body’s detoxification system.

5. Other health benefits. Cauliflower also has fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin B.

6. Diet benefits. If you’re trying to lose weight, cauliflower can be a blessing. It’s a versatile vegetable that isn’t starchy. It can help you lose weight and feel full at the same time.

* Cauliflower doesn’t have many calories, so you can eat it without worrying about your weight loss plans.

* You can modify many comfort food dishes to use cauliflower instead of potatoes or other higher-calorie items. One of the easiest diet changes is to switch to cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. You’ll still get a mushy, comforting plate of white fluff, but it’ll be healthier.

* Another good diet modification is to make cauliflower rice instead of regular brown or white rice. You’ll get more fiber and fewer carbohydrates. You’ll also be able to trick your eyes into thinking you’re eating white rice.

If You Need to Change the Taste

If you struggle with the taste of cauliflower, then it may be the sulfur compounds that are to blame. However, you can change the taste of this white veggie.

Try these techniques:

* Use a sautŽ recipe and hide the taste with onions or garlic. Thyme and rosemary are also good options.

* Pepper and salt are classic ways to boost the flavor.

* Another option is to use dairy products such as low-calorie cheese or sour cream in your recipe to mask the cauliflower taste.

* Roasting or grilling cauliflower can make it sweeter.

Cauliflower can provide you with a multitude of health benefits. It’s easy to cook and use in the kitchen, and it’s inexpensive, so you can feel free to experiment with it. Put cauliflower on your grocery list today and you can start reaping the benefits tomorrow.

A recent Time Magazine story reported that Americans spend an average of 204 hours a year commuting, and for most workers, that means driving their car.

The same article cited numerous studies about the effects of so much time on the road, including increased levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, higher rates of depression and anxiety, and lower rates of cardiovascular fitness, life satisfaction, and happiness.

It’s no wonder that driving can put significant stress on your body and mind. You need to force yourself to stay alert. You wonder about what you’re missing while you’re stuck in traffic. You may even be fuming about another driver who cut you off or almost rear-ended you.

If you’re starting to think that the situation is out of your control, think again.

Take some of the stress out of your daily drive with these proven strategies:

Managing the Situation

1. Budget more time. Traffic jams are less frustrating when you’re not running late. Give yourself an extra 10 or 15 minutes for any trip.

2. Plan your route. Check online for construction work and accidents. On the other hand, ensure your alternate plans will really save you time and not take you too far out of your way.

3. Switch your hours. If your boss is cooperative, you may be able to avoid rush hour completely. Ask about telecommuting or coming in an hour earlier or later. Maybe you could do it part of the week or on a trial basis.

4. Bring entertainment. Stock up on audiobooks and podcasts. Listen to your favorite music. The time will pass more quickly and you may learn valuable lessons.

5. Turn off your phone. On the other hand, you might want to cut down on technology if your phone is distracting you. Turn the volume off until you reach your destination.

6. Sit up straight. Your posture could be creating aches and stiffness that make any irritation worse. Draw back your shoulders, open your chest, and lift your head if you have a tendency to hunch over the steering wheel.

7. Eat something. Is your stomach rumbling? Enjoy a small, balanced meal before you leave home. Pack a cooler with nutritious snacks like yogurt, nuts, and carrot sticks to keep in your car.

8. Sleep well. Driving when you’re exhausted is dangerous. Call a cab or pull over to avoid harming yourself or someone else.

9. Take breaks. On long road trips, stop and get out of your car at least every 2 hours. Walk around and stretch your arms and legs.

Managing Your Reaction

1. Breathe deep. Whether you’re dealing with backseat drivers or merging on a busy highway, use your breath to soothe yourself. Inhale and exhale fully and slowly.

2. Develop compassion. Instead of becoming angry with another driver who seems rude or aggressive, imagine the stress they might be under. Try to empathize.

3. Evaluate your role. Switch your attention from making judgments about other drivers to examining your own actions. Assess your emotions and question your assumptions. Be willing to forgive your fellow commuters when they make a mistake.

4. Lay off the horn. Remember that your horn is not a comment button. Use it gently and only when necessary to get another driver’s attention.

5. Play it safe. When you see driving that is clearly aggressive or erratic, keep your distance. Stay in your vehicle even if they pull over. If you want to do something constructive, report their license plate to the police.

Make driving more pleasant by thinking creatively about your transportation options and changing your attitude. You may be able to shorten your commute or at least make it more enjoyable.

Your pharmacist is a valuable source of information and wants to help you. They can help you figure out which medications to take and which ones can interact with other things, but they also have other knowledge to share.

Consider these things that they wish you knew:

1. Feel free to ask about the ads you see. Your pharmacist will be glad to discuss the health ads you see online or on TV.

* They understand you may be curious about the medications you see in advertisements, but your doctor may not have the time to address your concerns.

* Your pharmacist can help you by discussing the new drugs and directing you to legitimate, verified sources of information. They can help you figure out if a drug is right for you.

2. Share all the medications and supplements you take. It’s hard to keep track of all the things you take each day. It will benefit you to keep a careful, updated list and give a copy to your pharmacist whenever you make a change.

* It’s important for your pharmacist to know all of these medications and supplements. This is because they can interact with each other and hurt you. They can also make other drugs less effective and prevent you from benefiting from your prescriptions.

* Your pharmacist needs to know about every prescription, herb, vitamin, or mineral you use.

3. Save money by getting vaccines and flu shots at a pharmacy. In many parts of the country, you can get flu shots at a pharmacy. However, did you know that they can also give you a vaccine?

* Some pharmacies are able to give you vaccines such as Hepatitis A or B.

* You can save money and time by visiting your pharmacist instead of your doctor. Your bill may be lower, and you probably won’t have a long waiting time.

4. It’s also important to be careful with OTC medications. Your pharmacist wishes you were more careful about OTC, or over-the-counter medications.

* Over-the-counter medications can interact with each other and prescriptions.

* They can also cause liver damage and other issues if taken with alcohol. In some cases, overdoses are possible that can put you in the hospital.

* Your pharmacist wants to talk to you about your over-the-counter medications and ensure they’re safe. They’re ready to help you pick the most effective ones and the best dosages for you. They can clear up confusion about ingredients.

* Your pharmacist can help you figure out how often to take OTC drugs.

5. Your privacy matters. Your pharmacist will keep your information private. You don’t have to worry about sharing things with them. They’re obligated to keep your data safe and won’t discuss it with strangers.

* However, they may need to talk to your doctor about your concerns. This is normal and will actually help you. Your pharmacist may call your doctor and asks questions about the drugs you’re taking. In most cases, this is to ensure they’re not interacting with each other or to check on the dosages. They may also need to call your insurance.

It will benefit you to get to know your pharmacist and talk about your medications. They can help answer your questions, guide you, and reassure you. They can also be a powerful source of knowledge that can be very important for your health.