Help keep yourself and your family healthy through winter by checking out these tips from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service & the Ministry of Social Development.
10 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 your hands and between your fingers for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water, and dry your hands with a paper towel or clean dry towel.
- Exercise daily. A 30-minute walk outside gives you some fresh air and vitamin D and helps your body stay strong. Read more about the benefits of physical activity.
- Choose to eat healthy foods. This helps to support your immune system. Include fresh vegetables with some lean protein and keep your sugar and salt intake low. Read more about healthy eating.
- 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. 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.
- Choose safe heating options. Unflued gas heaters can increase asthma and other respiratory problems and add pollutants to the air. This includes carbon monoxide, high levels of which can even lead to death. Gas braziers and patio heaters should never be used inside.
- 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. Go to Quitline (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.
Keeping warm in winter Health Navigator, NZ
10 tips for staying warm for less Consumer NZ, 2019
Keeping warm and healthy this winter Ministry of Social Development, NZ
Unflued gas heaters Ministry of Health, NZ, 2012