The CDC has published the following health and safety tips that are great reminders for us as we start a new year.
Wash hands often.
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based product. There are small travel size products that can be carried with when traveling or shopping.
Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting tightly woven clothing.
Don’t drink and drive. Wear seat belts every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt accordingly to height, weight, and age of the child. Keep winter clothing (including boots, mittens and caps), blankets and boots and mittens in the car for emergency use when the car doesn’t start, or you experience trouble on the road.
Balance work, home, and play. Practice time management. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.
Avoid smoking and breathing other people’s smoke. If you smoke, quit today. What a gift to yourself, family and friends.
Get check-ups and vaccinations.
Exams and screenings can help find problems before they start. They can also help find problems early. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. The influenza vaccine is especially important for protection from the flu in the months to come.
Watch the kids.
Children are at a high risk for injuries. Keep a watchful eye on what your children are eating, and drinking. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items and choking hazards our of kids’ reach.
Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Keep candles away from children pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. If your home does not already have them install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries when testing indicates, or at least twice a year.
Handle and prepare food safely.
As you prepare meals, keep you and your family safe from food-related illness. Bacterial pathogens have prime opportunities to cause infection at parties and pot lucks. Wash your hands and counter surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready to eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
Eat healthy and be active.
Choose fresh fruits as an alternative and sweet substitute for candy. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite music. Be active for at least 2.5 hours a week.
Protect pets from rabies.
Pets are considered family members by many. Pets may become irritable and stressed being inside all winter and snap at a child who is a stranger to them although the pet “would never bite anyone.” Keep them healthy and be sure their rabies vaccinations are up to date.
Enjoy 2011– while keeping healthy and safe!