How to stay healthy this holiday season

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016

By John Simpson


The holiday season is a joyous time of year, yet whenever it comes around on the calendar it always brings its ugly stepbrother: cold and flu season.

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Don’t let your holiday season be ruined by illness this year; there are very easy ways to stay healthy that can assure a better holiday season for you.

The most paramount factor to staying healthy is good hand washing with warm water and good soap according to West Bainbridge Elementary school nurse Becky Loyd.

Keeping germs off of your hands is a surefire way to not get sick, however Loyd also acknowledged that even with hand washing there is still the chance that other people will get you sick. The best way to avoid being one of those people that gets others sick is to be courteous enough to cough into your sleeve, or if you cough into your hand then to wash them immediately after.

If you were to start feeling sick, then Loyd advised you should completely wipe all surfaces in your house down with Clorox wipes. She said that bleach is the absolute best way to kill germs on surfaces.

When it comes to children, Loyd recommended they be kept at home if they are falling ill in order to keep the germs from spreading and getting other children sick. She says even a small fever should be reason to keep children at home, even if it is barely higher than 98.6 degrees, which is the normal operating temperature for the human body.

Aside from just the common cold, the flu is the other, more feared, way to ruin a day this time of year. Carolyn Maschke, the public information officer for the southwest health district, said that the best, and most obvious, way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated. The peak flu season is from now until February, and people can continue to get it even into March.

Maschke said that the flu vaccine this y ear has been a good match so far for the different strands of flu that are going around, type A and B. Most vaccines that people can receive are trivalent vaccines, which cover three strands of the flu and have matched up well against the two here.

Maschke did say that for elderly patients, they should receive a higher dose of their vaccine because they cannot fight off germs as well as younger patients.

Along with getting vaccines, Maschke says that getting plenty of sleep and exercise are also ways to stay healthy.

It is so easy to overlook the little things and end up coming down with the flu or a cold in the holiday season. Hopefully, the advice from Becky Loyd and Carolyn Maschke can help to keep you and your loved ones healthy this Christmas and New Year. Nobody likes to be bed ridden when the rest of their family is out celebrating the holidays, so do your best to stay out of the doctors office and enjoy your holiday.