It is December again. In a few days we will begin another year full of opportunities. It is also a time of celebration that brings together family and friends. To help you have a happy and healthy holiday season there are a few steps you can take.
First, get a flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine can decrease sickness, trips to the doctor, and missed days of work and school caused by the flu. There are multiple flu vaccine options. There are flu shots approved for use in adults age 65 years and older, as well as flu shots for pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions. Find out more about the flu and the importance of the flu vaccine. There are rare exceptions to who should get the flu vaccine. See who should not get a flu vaccine.
Second, you and people around you should make handwashing a habit. The first week in December was National Handwashing Week. This is a yearly reminder of the important benefits that can come from simply washing your hands. Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick, eliminate germs, and prevent germs from spreading to others. The CDC recommends five steps in handwashing:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a substitute. Find out more about handwashing and hand sanitizers.
I hope this information helps you bring in a happy and healthy new year!