The holidays are a time for family, friends, and, unfortunately, increased illness. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be difficult to keep your family healthy. However, there are a few steps you can take to help protect your loved ones from getting sick. From washing your hands regularly to getting a flu shot, read on for our top tips on keeping your family healthy during the holiday season.
1. Wash Your Hands Often and Thoroughly
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick is to wash your hands regularly. Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You should also avoid touching your face, especially if you have not washed your hands recently. With the increased number of people gathering for holiday celebrations, remind your family and friends to wash their hands often.
Hand sanitizers and wipes are also helpful in killing germs on the go. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes handy when you’re out and about. This will help reduce the number of germs you are exposed to. Wipe down surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops often, especially in public places.
2. Get a Flu Shot
Another way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get a flu shot. The flu shot helps reduce the risk of getting the flu by up to 70%. It’s important to note that the shot takes about two weeks to render its full effect, so be sure to get yours early in the season. Many family practice offices offer flu shots, so check with your doctor to see if they can provide one.
Some people also schedule flu clinics or vaccine drives at their workplaces, churches, schools, and other places. Keep an eye out for these events in your community and take advantage of them if possible. They can be a great way to vaccinate everyone in the family quickly and efficiently.
3. Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all key to keeping your immune system strong. Make sure you and your family eat nutritious meals and get enough sleep, even during the busy holiday season.
You may also want to consider taking a daily multivitamin to get the essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep your body functioning correctly. Additionally, some supplements like Vitamin C and Zinc have been shown to help boost the immune system. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, as they can interact with certain medications.
4. Avoid Large Crowds and Close Contact
With the holidays comes lots of socializing, which can help spread germs and illnesses. To avoid getting sick, try to limit close contact with crowds of people. You may also consider avoiding large holiday gatherings such as parties and celebrations. Additionally, try to maintain a 6-foot distance from people coughing or sneezing.
If you must attend a gathering, try to take extra precautions like wearing a mask or gloves. This can help reduce your risk of getting sick or spreading germs to others. The pandemic is also a great reminder to avoid unnecessarily shaking hands and hugging during the holidays, as this can easily spread germs.
5. Keep Your Home Clean
Finally, one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to keep your home clean. This means regularly cleaning surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs, and tables. Vacuum often, and make sure to change bedding regularly. This will help reduce the number of germs living in your home.
You may also want to consider investing in air purifiers for your home. Air purifiers can help reduce the number of airborne germs and particles, making it easier to breathe. Additionally, try to keep windows open when possible to help keep the air circulating. If it’s too cold outside, use a fan to help keep the air in your home moving.
The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a time when illnesses like colds and the flu tend to spread more quickly. By taking a few simple precautions, such as washing your hands regularly and disinfecting surfaces in your home, you can help reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading illness this holiday season. And if you do happen across someone who is already sick, make sure to avoid them if possible or take extra care to wash your hands often if you must be around them. With just a bit of extra care, you can help make this holiday season a safe and healthy one for your family.