Help keep yourself and your family healthy through winter by checking out these tips from Auckland Regional Public Health Service & the Ministry of Social Development.
Ten tips for staying well in winter
- Have the influenza vaccination. For some people the flu vaccine is free.
- Wash your hands. Winter illnesses are easily spread by hands. Wash both sides of the hands and between the fingers for at least 20 seconds, use soap, and dry hands with a paper towel or clean dry towel.
- Exercise daily. A 30-minute walk outside gives you some fresh air and helps your body get stronger.
- Choose to eat healthy foods. This helps to build your immune system. Include fresh vegetables with some lean protein and try to reduce sugar and salt intake.
- Get fresh air in your home. Open windows during the day (even for a short time) and then close them before the sun goes down or before you turn on the heating. A well-aired home helps keep it dry and keeps your family well.
- Reduce dampness. Keep the bathroom door closed when showering or bathing to lessen dampness settling around the house. Dampness allows mould and mildew to grow and can lead to respiratory illness.
- Consider a dehumidifier. If possible use a dehumidifier in your home as it can help keep your home dry, especially if there is a lot of moisture or dampness.
- Take care with coughs and sneezing. You may be spreading bugs if you are coughing or sneezing, and the best way to avoid this is to stay away from work or school. Don’t cough and sneeze around babies and small children as they can get sick very easily.
- Quit smoking. If you do smoke, do so outside, and never smoke around children. Visit Quitline The Quit Group NZ (or free call 0800 778 778) for support on quitting.
- Use Healthline or your GP clinic after hours line for advice. If you or your child is feeling unwell you can get free health advice from registered nurses by phoning Healthline on 0800 611 116.