The holiday travel season is in full swing, and as always, holiday travels coincide with the peak of flu season. The holidays should be a time of gratefulness, laughter and spending time with those you love. Don’t let catching a bug steal your fun.
Here are a few reminders to help keep you and your family safe and healthy this holiday season.
• Wash your hands often. This is the No. 1 rule to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water frequently.
• Cover your mouth and nose. If you’ve got a cough or the sniffles, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. It’s best to keep a tissue in your pocket, but if you don’t have one handy, sneeze into the inside of your elbow rather than your hands.
• Bundle up. Cold weather can make you more susceptible to illness. The best trick for dressing in the winter is to wear layers that can be removed when indoors, or if you get too warm. Be sure you and your children are bundled up for colder weather. It’s also important to stay dry. If your clothes get wet, change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
• Check in with your doctor and get vaccinated. Regular exams, screenings and vaccinations can help prevent illness and complications from common viruses. If you and your children aren’t up-to-date on vaccinations, schedule an appointment with your physician today.
• Follow safe food prep guidelines. If the holidays mean you’re spending a lot of your time in the kitchen, be sure you’re following safe food prep guidelines to prevent food-related illness. Keep your hands and surfaces washed and clean. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Put any leftovers in the fridge as soon as the meal is over (do not leave perishables out for more than two hours).
• Eat healthy. Keep balance and moderation in mind this holiday season. Your plate should be 80 percent fruits and vegetables and 20 percent meat (and other foods). Filling up on fresh fruits and veggies won’t only help you avoid the holiday weight gain—it can also help you fend off seasonal illnesses.
• Stay active. Exercise promotes healthy circulation and keeps your immune system strong. Schedule time during the holidays for you and the kids to be active for at least an hour a day. Go for a family bike ride. Get outside and throw the football around. Have a dance party to your favorite holiday music. Whatever you do—just move.
It may not be possible to guarantee you can stay illness-free this holiday season, but by following these tips, you can help keep nasty bugs at bay.