Sniffling and sneezing every few minutes isn’t a pleasant way to spend Thanksgiving or the winter holidays, but getting sick isn’t inevitable. You can protect your health and your family’s well-being by taking a few simple precautions during cold season. If you do get sick, visit a walk-in clinic if you experience severe cold symptoms or signs of a more serious illness, like the flu or bronchitis.
Wash your hands frequently.
Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently is among the most effective ways to stop germ transmission. Many people rush this simple task, but to truly clean your hands, you need to scrub the skin well for at least 20 seconds. Use plenty of soap to vigorously lather up between the fingers, under the nails, and on the backs of your hands. Wash your hands at the following times, as well as any time they become soiled.
- Before preparing food and eating
- After using the restroom
- After handling pets or their waste
- After changing diapers
- Before and after caring for a sick family member
- After sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose
- After taking out the trash
Avoid touching your face.
Even if you do wash your hands often throughout the day, it’s impossible to keep them completely free of germs. You’ll get germs on your hands each time you touch a doorknob, handle a phone, and shake someone’s hand, and some of those germs might make you sick if they enter your mucous membranes. Try to avoid touching your face to prevent the transmission of germs to the nose and mouth.
Protect yourself from germs when you travel.
If you’ll be traveling for the holidays, you may be at a higher risk of getting sick—especially if you’re flying. The re-circulated airplane air dries out the mucous membranes, which makes you more susceptible to the germs of the passengers seated near you. Drink plenty of water during any flight—and avoid alcohol, as it’s dehydrating. After boarding, use some sanitizing wipes on the seat’s arms and tray table. Consider bringing some hand sanitizer, too.
Paramount Urgent Care provides preventive medical services near Orlando to help you and your family stay healthy. We also provide walk-in clinic services, including care for flu, fever, and strep throat. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.