It’s that time again when New Year’s resolutions are made, and sometimes broken. This year consider setting some achievable resolutions this year that can protect you from getting an infection.
One: Wash your hands. You probably already do this after using the restroom, but are you washing before eating every meal? For at least 20 seconds? It’s basic, but it works. Try it: For the month of January, wash your hands every day before lunch, while humming Happy Birthday.
Two: Get vaccinated. You probably received all your childhood vaccinations required for school. But what about HPV (now only a two-dose series) to prevent cervical cancer? What about the shingles vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine or the seasonal flu vaccine? They’ve been proven to reduce the risk of illness. Try it: Make a doctor’s appointment in January to get you and your family all caught up.
Three: Be a smart traveler. You probably aren’t traveling to places with the US Department of State Travel Warnings, but did you know that the CDC lists travel health notices for multiple countries? They also recommend, depending on destination: eating safe foods, wearing mosquito repellent and getting certain vaccinations. Try it: Put the CDC Travel website on your packing list, and a post-it note stating “Mosquito Repellant” on your passport.
Four: Stay home when sick. Chances are you already do when your temperature is 103F. But what about when you have a low-grade fever and cough or are fighting off diarrhea? Stay home, so you don’t spread the illness to your co-workers. Try it: Next time you are sick, but are considering taking Tylenol and toughing it out at work, think about your ability to accomplish things versus sharing your illness and email your supervisor.
These simple tips will help you, your family, friends, and coworkers have a safe and healthy 2017. You can read more about making health New Year resolutions to help get more physically active, eat healthier foods, quit smoking, and keeping your smile bright and healthy.