5 Ways to Stay Safer and Healthier This Winter

Winter is here, and that means you and your family have a new set of seasonal health considerations. What are some easy ways to keep you and your family healthier and happier throughout these chilly months?

1. Get that flu shot!

Flu is not something you should take lightly, especially for young children and older adults. We know that there are different strains of flu, and we know that annual vaccinations are highly effective in protecting against flu. The CDC considers it the very best way to protect against flu, and recommends flu vaccinations about all other preventative measures. It’s quick and easy, especially if you visit an urgent care center without the need for an appointment.

2. Don’t overexert yourself during snow removal

Snow removal is a reality of life for those of us who live in New Jersey and other states with harsh winters. It can also be great exercise. Breathing the fresh air and shoveling snow is a great way to get the heart rate up and tone muscles — but people often push it too far and over-exert themselves. If you experience chest pain or other possible signs of a heart attack and you should call 911 immediately. In general, it’s good to remain aware of your body and your capabilities while shoveling snow, and make sure you stretch before hand. People often end up with pulled muscles in their backs due to vigorous snow removal without proper stretching first. Always use your legs, and avoid sudden or extreme twisting.

3. Keep yourself warm

It might be tempting to run “quick errands” or perform “quick tasks” out in the cold without proper attire. After all, it takes time and energy to get dressed for the cold every time you walk out the door. Hypothermia and frostbite are real risks during the winter chill, and it’s important to take them seriously. Always use proper attire for outdoor activity depending in the temperature, and don’t forget to figure in the wind chill. Keeping extra hats, gloves, scarves and boots in your car is a good way to make sure you and your family are never caught out in the


4. Be mindful of carbon monoxide

Things like camp stoves and electrical generators can cause carbon monoxide to build up in a sealed room. This is more commonplace during winter months, when homes are typically shut tight. Accidents involving carbon monoxide can be fatal, as the gas has no odor or taste. Installing functional carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home, and being aware of possible sources of carbon monoxide, are two important ways to prevent dangerous situations.

5. Practice good hygiene

Winter is usually the time when cold and flu makes its annual rounds. We’ve already discussed the importance of flu vaccinations — but it’s also worth mentioning that simple hygiene habits, such as frequent hand washing and staying home when you know you’re sick, are highly effective ways to protect yourself and others from cold and flu.

Remember —Family First Urgent Care is a good option for non-life threatening medical situations. You don’t need an appointment, you won’t have to wait long, and you’ll get excellent medical treatment. Enjoy the winter!