This time of year is a favorite for many, especially families with kids! Who doesn’t love making memories and discovering new holiday traditions with your small children? While you are busy wrapping gifts, making cookies and watching holiday movies, you unfortunately have to worry about illnesses at this time of year.

Infections become more common as it cools off around the region, so we all need to be on high alert in order to keep our kids healthy.

Our AFC Urgent Care NC team cares about the health of your family, so read on to learn some helpful tips on how to keep an infection from sweeping through your home.

What Infections Are Common Right Now?

Viral infections spread quickly through close-knit populations, which is why we often see illnesses like the common cold, RSV, the flu, strep and COVID-19 spike during the fall and winter months. After all, we are all seeking the warm refuge of home, work and school much more often!

While you can’t completely prevent your family from being exposed to these different infections, you can boost everyone’s immune system by prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. Serve healthy meals with lots of fruits and veggies, encourage movement and regular exercise and be sure that everyone is getting proper sleep at night. Seven to nine hours is the recommendation for adults and up to 14 hours is recommended for children, depending on their age.

Additional Health Tips for the Holidays

  • Bundle up when it is cold outside.
  • Get your family’s flu vaccines taken care of now.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Wear your seatbelt while traveling, and be sure your car seats are installed correctly.

Should I Be Worried About Foodborne Illnesses?

No matter what holidays you observe or what you celebrate, we would bet you have some pretty delicious food at your family gatherings. While you might want to dig in right away, be sure you are being smart about what you are choosing to eat! Family-style meals or potlucks where food is sitting out for a long period of time can increase the risk that bacteria has started to grow.

Be sure you are preparing any egg dishes or meat to their recommended temperature for doneness, and serve food right away after it is ready to eat. Store leftovers properly and clean up the kitchen immediately. If you notice that a dish has been sitting out for over two hours, you should toss it to reduce your risk of a foodborne illness making your entire family sick.

Avoiding Foodborne Illness in Your Meals

  • Use designated cutting boards for raw meat and produce.
  • Wash hands before handling food.
  • Don’t cook for others when you aren’t feeling well.
  • Understand specific allergies or dietary restrictions for those attending your party.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season! Come see us at one of our AFC Urgent Care NC locations if you aren’t feeling well.