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Stay Safe and Healthy Throughout the Winter

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Rajiv Prasad, M.D., Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Bayshore Medical Center offers tips to help you and your family make it through the winter without injury or illness.
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As the weather turns colder, it can bring with it a host of potential dangers and illnesses. However, there are a few simple rules you and your family can follow to help you get through the cold winter months without injury or illness.

  1. Get a flu shot: The CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine unless there are medical reasons why you should not.
  2. Wash your hands: Frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to reduce your risk of infection and illness.
  3. Get a vitamin boost: Take Vitamin D and get sunlight to help boost your mood and ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  4. Stay active: Stay active, exercise and eat in moderation throughout the winter months.
  5. Dress appropriately: Wearing layers and warm clothing in freezing temperatures will help you to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. It’s especially important to protect extremities such as your head, ears, nose, fingers and toes.
  6. Take care of your skin: Apply sunscreen to protect from UV rays and moisturizer to prevent cracked skin, which can allow infections to enter. Use a humidifier to prevent dry skin.
  7. Home Safety: Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and inspect and maintain your heating system and fireplaces.
  8. Be prepared: Equip your home and car for emergencies with blankets, water, batteries and a first aid kit.
  9. Shovel with care: Work slowly when shoveling snow and don’t overdo it to reduce the risk of heart attacks or back injuries.
  10. Slippery Surfaces: Drive and walk slower and more carefully when snow or ice is present to prevent accidents or slips and falls.

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