As the weather gets colder, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your family stays healthy. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. Get a flu shot.
The flu is a particularly pesky virus that can cause severe symptoms and even hospitalization. Getting a flu shot is an easy and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Not only will it save you the trouble of dealing with the flu, but it can also save you money on medical bills.
While the vaccine isn’t perfect, it’s still the best defense we have against the flu. And, even if you get sick after getting the vaccine, the severity of your illness is likely to be lessened.
If you’re looking to save money on your flu shot, check with your insurance provider to see if they’ll cover the cost of the shot. Many insurance plans will cover at least part of the cost, saving you significant money.
You can also look for discount offers from pharmacies or other retailers. Many stores offer discounts on the flu shot for customers who purchase other items, such as groceries or vitamins. Finally, take advantage of government programs. Some state and local governments offer low-income residents free or discounted flu shots. Check with your state’s health department to see if you qualify.
2. Wash your hands often and properly.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease. To get the job done right, ensure you start by wetting your hands with clean, running water. Hot water is not always necessary, and can actually strip your skin of its natural oils.
Next, apply soap to your hands and rub them together to create a lather. Be sure to get soap on all areas of your hands, including the backs, wrists, and between your fingers. Then, scrub your hands for 20 seconds minimum. An excellent way to time yourself is with the “Happy Birthday” song, which you can sing twice.
After that, wash your hands with clean water again. Finally, dry up using a tissue, towel, or you can air dry. Germs are more likely to spread if your hands are wet.
3. Avoid touching your face.
Our hands come into contact with all sorts of surfaces throughout the day, picking up bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. When we touch our face, we can transfer these harmful organisms to our mucous membranes, increasing our risk of infection. To help prevent the spread of illness, it’s essential to avoid touching your face as much as possible.
If that’s already a habit, one way you can keep your hands away from your face is to keep them busy. If you’re focused on using your hands for something else, you’re less likely to touch your face absentmindedly. Try knitting, doodling, or playing with a fidget toy.
Aside from that, you can also try to set reminders. Whether it’s a post-it note on your mirror or a reminder on your phone, seeing a constant reminder not to touch your face can help break the habit.
4. Visit your doctor for a check-up.
It can help to visit your doctor for a check-up before the winter season gets underway. Even if you’re feeling healthy, a check-up is a great way to ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on vaccinations and other preventive care measures. And if anyone in your family is already dealing with a health issue, a check-up can help to ensure that it’s being properly managed. So don’t wait until someone gets sick – schedule a visit to your doctor or pediatric care provider today and start the winter season off on the right foot.
To help you make the most of your visit, be prepared to answer questions about your or your child’s medical history and current health. It can be helpful to write down a list of questions or concerns before your visit so that you don’t forget anything.
Second, be honest with your doctor about your or their symptoms and lifestyle choices. The more information your doctor has, the better they can assist you. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your doctor is there to help you, and they will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Keeping your family healthy this winter doesn’t have to be difficult. Just ensure you get everyone vaccinated against the flu, practice good hand washing, avoid touching your face, and visit your doctor. By following these tips, you can help keep your family healthy as the snow comes down!