Wellness Tips

Cover your cough...but not with your hand!

Respiratory illnesses like the flu, colds, and whooping cough are spread from person to person by breathing in germs in the air or by touching the hands or a surface (door knob, phone, etc) that someone with contaminated hands has recently touched.

To help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue (not a hankerchief) when you sneeze or cough.
  • Put your used tissue in a wastebasket.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. The germs will die harmlessly in the fabric of your sleeve.
  • Clean you hands after sneezing or coughing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Use a tissue or paper towel to shut off the faucet after you wash.
  • Try to minimize the number of times you touch your nose or eyes.
  • Wash your hands often during cold and flu season, especially before eating or preparing food, and when returning home.

 

Choking Hazard Foods

Most choking deaths occur in children under the age of 4, and 50% of choking episodes are caused by foods. There are over 160 deaths from choking in children each year, and about 17,000 ER visits due to choking. Choking occurs when a piece of food, especially a round and firm food, gets lodged in the throat and blocks the airway.

To prevent choking never feed children under 4 the following unless they are first chopped into very small pieces:

  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chunks of meat or cheese
  • Whole grapes
  • Whole olives
  • Hard candy (including candy sticks and ball shaped lollypops)
  • Popcorn
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Raisins

Additional choking hazards for children are chewing gum, gooey or sticky candy, and clumps of peanut butter. Children under 4 should not be fed these.