As winter settles in New Zealand, the cold and flu season kicks into gear. With the added concerns of COVID-19 still lingering, it’s more important than ever to prioritize our health and take steps to prevent and manage common respiratory illnesses. At Upper Hutt Health Centre, we are committed to providing you with the best care possible, and in this blog post, we’ll discuss some practical strategies to keep you and your family healthy during this season.
Practice Good Hygiene
Effective hygiene practices play a crucial role in preventing the spread of colds and the flu. Remember to:
a. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
b. Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are not readily available.
c. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as these are entry points for germs.
d. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of used tissues properly.
Prioritize Restful Sleep
Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Make sure to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, establish a consistent sleep routine, including a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and create a sleep-friendly environment that is dark, quiet, and cool.
Vaccination remains one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from the flu. We encourage you to schedule a flu shot: The annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. And please consider a COVID-19 booster: Stay updated with the latest recommendations regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots, as advised by health authorities.
Utilize Useful Resources
Healthline (0800 611 116): Healthline is a free, 24/7 telephone health advice service that provides expert advice and information on a wide range of health topics.
Health Navigator (www.healthnavigator.org.nz): Health Navigator is an online platform that offers trustworthy information and self-help resources for various health conditions and concerns.
At Upper Hutt Health Centre, we have an onsite pharmacy with knowledgeable pharmacists who can assist you with various health issues, including colds and flu remedies and if you suspect strep throat, our pharmacists can perform swabs and, if necessary, provide antibiotics to help treat the infection.: Our pharmacists can also help you with common childhood ailments. Whether it’s nappy rash or nits, our pharmacists can provide guidance on appropriate treatments and prevention strategies.
Stay well, Upper Hutt!