10 easy tips for enjoying a healthy winter
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has some easy tips to keeping yourself healthy this winter which will help ensure you spend your time doing the things you want to do and not staying at home, feeling unwell.
While the most common illnesses during winter are colds and flu, these great general tips on how to keep you and your family healthy, will help prevent illness such as allergies, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. Here are 10 top easy tips for enjoying a healthy winter:
1. Wash your hands regularly and correctly
. Winter illness is easily spread via hands. It is
important that hands are washed regularly, especially after using the toilet and before
touching food. Don’t forget to wash both sides of the hands and between the fingers for at
least 20 seconds, use soap and dry with a paper towel or clean dry towel when finished.
2. Open windows during the day and then close them before the sun goes down or you turn on the heating.
This will ensure your home is kept ventilated, which helps keep it
warm and dry.
3. Keep the bathroom door closed when showering or bathing to prevent excess
moisture settling around the house.
Excess moisture can lead to respiratory problems
and cause mould and mildew.
4. Reduce damp in your home and don’t ‘line dry’ your laundry inside
. This increases the
amount of moisture in the air.
5. Where possible use a dehumidifier
. If there is high moisture content in your home using a
dehumidifier will reduce this.
6. Avoid using unflued gas heaters inside your home, which release polluting gases
into the air.
This type of heater increases the level of indoor air pollutants which can cause
respiratory problems. (Unflued gas heaters are usually portable gas heaters that don’t have
a flue or chimney to remove the gasses to outside your home.)
7. Avoid coughing or sneezing near babies and small children.
Many babies and small
children are too young to be vaccinated against common illnesses and due to their
developing immune systems are more susceptible to picking them up.
8. If you smoke, smoke outside, away from confined spaces.
Even though it may be cold
outside, it is important to help protect the people around you from cigarette smoke.
9. If you or your child is feeling unwell visit a doctor early.
Treating what can seem like
small health issues early, can help prevent them getting worse or becoming bigger issues
in the future.
10. Talk to your doctor about the influenza vaccination.
Vaccination is particularly
beneficial for those over 65 years of age, those with serious medical conditions or have
asthma and pregnant women. Immunisation is offered between March and July and might
be free for you! Visit www.fightflu.co.nz
or contact you doctor to find out more.
Be aware of your neighbours, if you know of elderly or vulnerable people in your community, make sure they are ok, something as small as ensuring they have warm food and an extra blanket can help protect them during periods of cold weather.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brad Novak says “Warm, dry and ventilated homes help protect you against common respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.”
For media enquiries contact:
021 243 2421
For public enquiries contact:
Auckland Regional Public Health Service
09 623 4600
Auckland Regional Public Health Service have a number of publically available fact sheets
available on www.arphs.govt.nz
Fact Sheet: Unflued gas heaters
Fact Sheet: Mould & Moisture
Fact Sheet: Home ventilation
Fact Sheet: Influenza
Fact Sheet: Healthy Housing
Fact Sheet: Housing and Health Auckland