Keep­ing­fam­i­lies healthy in­win­ter

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY -

There may not (yet) be a cure for the com­mon cold but there is still a lot we can each do to keep our­selves, and our fam­i­lies, health­ier over the win­ter months.

One of the most sim­ple and ef­fec­tive things any of us can do is to have a flu jab; but you know, we hu­mans are an odd lot.

Even when we know a quick jab could save us from up to 10 days of mis­ery, most of us still choose not to.

Most peo­ple dis­like nee­dles but it is just a lit­tle prick and it can pro­tect you and your fam­ily/whanau from a virus that can kill, es­pe­cially if you are preg­nant or have health prob­lems.

An­other thing we can do is keep warm to keep well. Cold homes can have a real im­pact on your health. Keep­ing warm over the win­ter months can help pre­vent colds, flu and more se­ri­ous health con­di­tions such as pneu­mo­nia. Wear warm clothes, drink hot drinks reg­u­larly and keep your house warm.

If you have a cold, don’t spread it around.

Keep peo­ple around you well by cov­er­ing your mouth when cough­ing and sneez­ing, and wash your hands or use al­co­hol hand sani­tiser of­ten to stop the virus spread­ing around your work­place or fam­ily/whanau.

GP clin­ics and hospi­tal emer­gency rooms are busier in win­ter, which means full wait­ing rooms with lots of in­fec­tions. You may be able to avoid be­ing around other germs by get­ting ad­vice by phone, es­pe­cially if rest and over-the-counter phar­macy med­i­ca­tion are the best treat­ments, and they very of­ten are.

An­tibi­otics can’t help with colds or flu!

Who to call?

Your GP clinic may of­fer phone ad­vice from the nurse or a phone ap­point­ment with the doc­tor. Check the prac­tice web­site or call and ask.

Af­ter hours, ring your prac­tice and you will be able to talk through your con­cerns with a reg­is­tered nurse.

Health­line is avail­able for free ad­vice from reg­is­tered nurses 24/7. Call 0800 611 116 or get the Health­line app on your smart­phone or tablet.

If you are new to the area, or are un­sure what lo­cal ser­vices are avail­able to you, visit Health­point (www.health­point.co.nz)

Win­ter­means colds and flu but there are things you can do to re­duce the risk of get­ting sick.

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