Handwashing: A Must Year-Round

Handwashing is important year-round, but it often does double duty during fall and winter months when viruses are rampant.

About a billion colds happen annually in the United States, according to the National Library of Medicine. Your best chance at reducing your personal risk starts with regularly washing your hands to fend off germs.

You may remember to wash your hands before eating meals or after using the restroom, but do you wash your hands after changing your child’s diaper, touching dirty hands or after you take out the garbage?

Handwashing should be something you do after any activity where you may be exposed to germs, such as cleaning the dishes, playing with your family pet, or coughing or sneezing into your hands.

When in doubt, wash your hands, wrists and nail beds. It only takes 20 seconds of scrubbing with clean, warm water and soap. This one habit helps to stop the spread of germs during peak sick season.

By mirroring this habit to friends and family, you can make a real difference in your community when it comes to preventive health.

At-home Treatments for the Common Cold

If you’re achy and dealing with nasal congestion and a sore throat, chances are you are battling a cold—an infectious disease known as viral rhinitis.

To treat your cold, sleep it off. During waking hours, prioritize hydration and take over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms.

Consuming vitamin C is likely to reduce overall duration of symptoms only in those who habitually consume it, according to Harvard Health.

If you notice trouble breathing, the symptoms last for more than a few days and get worse, it is recommended that you see a healthcare provider immediately. Other reasons to visit a healthcare provider include a high fever or unusual symptoms, such as chest pain or dizziness.

Sources: medlineplus.gov, health.harvard.edu, cdc.gov, kidshealth.org

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