Prepare for the fall


It might be summer, but you can’t start planning for the cold weather too early

Having endured a massive heat wave, most Michiganders aren’t necessarily thinking about the fall and the winter holidays.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sure is. The CDC urges parents to fall into good habits this autumn. Following the CDC’s tips could help families stay safe and healthy.

Protect your family from influenza: CDC officials stress the single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year in the fall. While researchers don’t have a crystal ball to tell them what strain of flu will prevail every year, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. The CDC recommends getting a vaccine by the end of October to be most effective.

Other recommended preventative measures include covering your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands often, and staying home if you have the flu.

Know how antibiotics work: Antibiotics do not alleviate viral infections, such as the flu and the common cold. If you use antibiotics when they are not needed, the CDC said it causes some bacteria to become resistant to the medicine and therefore harder to kill.

See your doctor or nurse to find out if your illness is bacterial or viral before you start self-treating with antibiotics.

Have a safe Halloween: Simple commonsense precautions can ensure trick-or-treaters will have a good – and safe – time. Among the suggestions are never trick-or-treat alone; put reflective tape on costumes for nighttime visibility; use a flashlight to see and be seen; eat only factory-wrapped candy that has been checked for choking hazards; only visit well-lit homes; and never enter a house without a trusted adult

Change batteries: The CDC recommends replacing carbon monoxide detector batteries when you turn your clocks to fall back an hour, which occurs Nov. 3 this year; repeat the process in the spring. You should also replace smoke alarm alkaline batteries at least once a year. Test alarms every month to ensure they work properly.

Keep food safe: The holidays mean family gatherings, and with those get-togethers are a variety of foods. With food center-stage, the CDC recommends following basic food safety steps, such as washing hands and cleaning surfaces often, separating food to avoid cross-contamination, cooking poultry and other meats to proper temperatures, and chilling leftovers promptly.

Prepare for the cold: Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, with infants and the elderly at particular risk. Know how to prevent health problems and what to do if a cold-weather emergency arises. The CDC reminds people that using space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Learn the health history of your family: Thanksgiving Day is also National Family History Day. At family gatherings, the CDC urges you to talk about and write down the health conditions that run in your family. Learning about your family’s health history can help you take steps to ensure a longer, healthier future together.



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