How to Stay Safe This Fall

From dodging the flu to trick-or-treating safely, learn to stay safe this fall

(RxWiki News) Different seasons bring different health and safety challenges, and autumn is no exception.

See below for our six 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.

6) Safe Halloween Practices

Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day. Go over safe trick-or-treating practices with your children before the night of fun. Accompany young children as they go around the neighborhood. If your older children will be going solo, be sure to review and agree on the route they will take, as well as the hour they should return. Furthermore, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and instruct them to not eat any of the treats until they have returned home and showed you, only travel in familiar, well-lit areas, always travel with friends and check roads carefully before crossing.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about autumn health and safety.