(RxWiki News) Different seasons bring different health and safety challenges, and autumn is no exception.
See below for our five health and safety tips for this fall season.
1) Flu and Cold Season
As the temperature drops, sniffling and coughing ramp up. The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated before October. Children, adults, the elderly and pregnant women are all eligible to receive the flu shot. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat lots of fruits and veggies to keep your immune system happy. Furthermore, hydration and sleep are key to recovering from an illness like the flu.
2) Wash Your Hands
Coined the “do-it-yourself” vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand-washing is still the simplest and most effective way to prevent illnesses. Washing your hands can reduce diarrhea rates by up to 50 percent and respiratory infections by 16 percent. Rub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse.
3) Heater Safety
Warm up safely this season. Be sure to have your heating system inspected by a qualified technician every year. Do not place a space heater within three feet of anything that may catch on fire. Never use extension cords to plug in your space heater. Inspect your space heater for damaged electrical cords before using it. If it is damaged or gives off sparks, do not use it. Furthermore, test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
4) Safe Driving
With weather changes and the end of daylight saving time, it is critical to practice safe driving this fall. Watch out for kids, animals and large puddles. Puddles may seem harmless, but front tires can lose control and hydroplane. This becomes more of a possibility when oil, grime and dust are involved. Be sure to check your tires for sufficient tread and proper air pressure.
5) Yard Work Safety
Be sure to wear protective gloves, glasses, supportive shoes and sturdy clothes when doing yard work. When you're raking leaves, use a “scissor” stance (right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes, then reverse your stance). Taking this stance can help prevent back injuries and strains. Always bend with your knees — not at the waist — when picking up the piles of leaves. Make small piles of leaves to prevent back strains.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about autumn health and safety.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS