Keepingfamilies healthy inwinter
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.