Peoria, Ill.,
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Health Highlights: Nail hygiene + pre-workout supplements

A New Year's Resolution you probably have never thought of, and keeping a close eye on the supplements our kids are taking. 

Did you have a childhood hero? If so, you likely aspired to emulate them and their achievements. 

Nowadays, your kids may see their favorite athlete or influencer using pre-workout supplements, whether on social media or in stores, to enhance their performance in the gym or on the field. 

Pre-workout supplements come in various names, flavors and sizes. 

These are taken before a workout or athletic match with the goals of increasing endurance, muscle mass, and reducing recovery time. 

But should middle- or high-school-aged kids be taking these? The answer: probably not.

“These can cause increased heart rate or heart burn. You’re also taking a lot of supplements that are going straight to your gut. You can see some nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. They’re also not well-monitored, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t regulating these very closely," says Erica Dawkins, dietetic intern with OSF HealthCare.

Taking it further, kids with heart defects need to steer clear of these supplements. 

Most pre-workouts are intended for healthy adults, in moderation. 

Even pregnant and nursing women are generally advised to avoid them due to the high caffeine content. 

Here's a New Year's resolution for kids and their parents: pledge to keep your hands clean and away from your mouth and face to prevent the spread of illness. 

Emily Isom, a certified medical assistant in pediatrics with OSF HealthCare, says chewing your nails can also lead to chipped teeth and warts. 

How do you get your kids on board? Make it a game.

“When handwashing, sing the ABC's for 20 seconds. Or have them sing to you. Make a chart. Every time they wash their hands, have them put a sticker on the chart. They are going to fall in love with it and want to wash their hands over and over again," Isom says. 

When washing hands, scrub thoroughly for 20 seconds. Wash around cuts and wounds. Dry well, then use a paper towel on the dirty door knob on the way out. 

If you use wipes or sanitizer, look for at least 60 percent alcohol on the label.

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