Keeping Healthy and Safe During the Holidays
During this year’s holidays, many families are looking forward to celebrating a closer-to-normal season. However, that means staying healthy and keeping all kinds of germs at bay, including seasonal cold and flu bugs. “With life getting back to normal, we are expecting a more severe cold and flu season than we encountered last year,” said Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family physician. “It’s important to both take preventative measures and stay prepared for keeping symptoms at bay. I recommend looking for over-the-counter medicines with active ingredients like dextromethorphan and guaifenesin, which help relieve both cough and chest congestion.”
• Practice good hygiene. Washing your hands has become a common refrain throughout the pandemic because it’s a simple and effective way to keep germs away, whether they’re of the global pandemic variety or a common cold. As you’re out shopping and mingling this holiday season, you’re likely to come into contact with more germ-laden surfaces than usual. Shopping carts, doors, and public restrooms are major culprits, so carry sanitizer and be sure to give your hands a thorough wash when you get home.
• Treat symptoms. While addressing the symptoms of an illness won’t necessarily make it go away, it can ease your discomfort while it runs its course. An option like Mucinex 12 hour Extended-Release Tablets provides relief for 12 hours by helping thin and loosen mucus to relieve chest congestion. The tablets are also available in a DM formula, which provides relief for both wet and dry coughs.
• Protect your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body fight off germs so you don’t get sick, or if you do come down with a cold or the flu, you may have a milder, shorter illness. Getting plenty of rest, staying well hydrated, eating well-balanced and nutrient-rich meals, and getting plenty of regular physical activity can all help keep your body in good condition to fight off seasonal germs.
• Keep your medicine cabinet stocked. There’s hardly anything worse than waking in the middle of the night with a cough or sinus trouble and discovering your medicine cabinet is empty. Be proactive by restocking on over-the-counter basics to help keep your symptoms in check. It’s also a good idea to check the expiration dates of any medications you do have on hand and replace anything that is out of date.
• Be mindful of spreading germs. If you do get sick, you can take steps to protect your loved ones. If possible, stay home until your symptoms have passed and you’re less likely to be contagious. Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or sneezing into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue, can be effective in preventing the spread of germs.
• Know when to consult a doctor. In most cases, minor cold symptoms don’t require a visit to the doctor (unless you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to arrange for testing). However, if symptoms don’t resolve within a week, grow worse in a short period of time or aren’t responding to over-the-counter medicines to ease your symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor or at least speak with a triage nurse for advice.
Find more resources to help you prepare to stay healthy for the holidays at Mucinex.com.
Make Safety a Priority for Holiday Travel
As more and more Americans hit the road and return to traveling for the holidays, concerns around road safety are top of mind. Nearly half of Americans (47%) plan to travel in the next six months, including 51% with plans to travel for Christmas, according to a survey by 3M.com/news. A majority (76%) plan to travel by car, but more than a third of travelers are as concerned about road safety as they are about contracting COVID-19. “Especially after spending an extended period closer to home, many people are likely to have some trepidation about getting back out on the road,” said automotive expert Lauren Fix, “The Car Coach” and 3M spokesperson. “Being conscious of issues like visibility and distracted driving are important ways to protect yourself and your passengers.” Consider these tips to enhance the safety of your holiday travel.
• Tire safety: Check your tire pressure and the condition of your tread. Properly inflated and adequate tires can keep you safe on the road, especially in slick conditions.
• Carry an emergency kit: Replenish any items you have used in the past. Include a first aid kit, blanket, drinking water, flashlight, reflective triangles and a reflective vest to keep you visible to other vehicles if you are working on your car on the side of the road or need to walk to get help.
• Keep your focus: Stay off your phone. Also be aware of the other vehicles and drivers around you.
• Use GPS: to re-route around construction or congestion. If you do come across construction, be sure to keep a close eye on the roadway signage and markings as they can help you navigate the complex roadways safely.
• Visibility: If you find yourself driving in bad weather and visibility is an issue, pay attention to road markings to keep yourself oriented to the roadway. If you have no visibility, pull over.
• Traffic signs: Studies have found that where highly visible signs are installed, crash numbers have fallen up to 46% within 3-6 years. Reflective sign sheeting, ink and overlays increase visibility and driver recognition of these signals. In foggy and wintery weather, fluorescent yellow street signs have also been found to be more easily visible.
• Pavement markings: Pavement markings help guide drivers and keep roads safe. In dark and wet conditions, standard reflective pavement markings can disappear. Reflective technology like the options from 3M make road markings visible from longer distances and in wet conditions.
• Traffic delineators: Navigating complex or changing roadways can be confusing and dangerous for drivers. Specialized delineation systems are used for construction projects, median barriers and guardrails, putting roadway information directly in sight of drivers and making it easier to navigate roadway complexities.
• License plates: License plates need to remain visible on any roadway and in all conditions, ensuring law enforcement can quickly and effectively identify vehicles. By providing vehicle registration solutions and advanced license plate manufacturing equipment, 3M partners with motor vehicle agencies and manufacturers around the world.
• Vehicle markings: Government regulations call for conspicuity tape on certain types of large vehicles and trailers in the United States to increase visibility and help prevent traffic collisions, injuries and deaths.
Courtesy of Family Features