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Dodge Unexpected Hospital Bills with These 5 Family Health Hacks:

You just never know what is lurking around the corner
By Expert Tips
Date: April 28 2016
Editor Rating:
When you’re raising a family, you just never know what unwanted accidents and surprises are lurking around the corner. Grazed knees, rotten teeth, fevers, spider or insect bites, runny noses, and broken limbs are just a few of the health hurdles that many unsuspecting parents must help their young ones straddle. 
For the children, these ailments and injuries are little more than inconvenient rites of passage. But for the parents who pick up the bill, the aftermath can take a heavy toll on the family budget. Keep your family poised and prepared for unexpected health scares and medical bills with the following five family health hacks.
1. Regular Checkups: Prevention is Better (and Cheaper) than Cure
As a parent, take a proactive approach to the health and wellbeing of your children. Don’t wait until symptoms are present to seek medical advice. Build a robust relationship with a trusted family GP and ensure that the health of your children is regularly monitored and scrutinized by expert eyes. And don’t leave it to the kids to tell you that they are sick. Make it a part of your routine to ask them how they are feeling and keep an eye out for subtle changes in their appearance, mood or behaviour.
2. Private Health Insurance
In Australia, we are lucky to have a reasonably well-resourced, affordable public healthcare system. The Medicare safety net makes sure that adequate healthcare is available to all Australians. But parents should be aware that there are some procedures and medicines that are not subsidized by Medicare. In recent years, the Australian Government has encouraged the adoption of private health insurance by offering a series of rebates and incentives. If you are raising a family, private health insurance is recommended. Speak to your financial advisor to discuss your options and see what policies are available to suit your needs and budget.
3. Diet: You Are What You Eat
Many common ailments can be curbed or prevented by maintaining a healthy balanced diet, complete with all of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for young growing bodies and minds. That perennially snotty nose could possibly be alleviated with a diet rich in Vitamin C and immunity boosting minerals. And what seems like hyperactivity could actually be a sign that your child’s sugar consumption is excessive. Food should not seek to replace medical intervention but, in many cases, dietary adjustments can function as a cost-effective alternative or complement to expensive medications, therapies and treatments.
4. First Aid: Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Not only should every home be equipped with a decent first aid kit, every parent should have basic knowledge of how to administer first aid treatment. Was biology your weakness in school? Never mind. You don’t need to be a doctor to get your head around some of the basic principles of first aid. And when you think about the practical life-and-death benefits of having first aid knowledge in a crisis situation, it’s suddenly easy to learn. What would you do if your child stopped breathing? What should you do if your child can’t move after a fall from the trampoline? You can never be prepared for everything, but with first aid training and a good first aid kit at hand, you’ll be ready for many potentially life-threatening situations.
5. Life Insurance: No Matter How Full of Life You Are
It may seem like morbid advice for a vibrant young family but everyone with a family needs life insurance. You just never know what might happen and it’s always best to put a financial safety net in place for your loved ones. When a breadwinner dies, their life may have ended but the lives of their little ones still need to be paid for – child care, food, college, debts, mortgage repayments, and so on. It’s not necessary to take out a costly policy – but you should certainly have something in place. Buy a basic policy and arrange for payments to be made with autopay.
Parenting is fun most of the time but when your health, or the health of your children, runs off the rails, it can be stressful and expensive. These five family health hacks will keep you on track and help you minimise the heartache and the expense.
Do you have any extra tips on averting costly family hospital bills? Share your insights and experiences in the comment section below.
Jerry Tyrrell is one of the founders of Survival Emergency Solutions, Australia’s leading provider of first aid kits and accessories for the home, workplace, vehicle and outdoors. Jerry is passionate about the importance of first aid within our day to day lives and is one of the authors of the First Aid Emergency Handbook; the only book to win the Australian Design Award.
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