The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises following these tips to help you and your family stay safe and healthy this Fall!

Keep your kids safe and healthy

Get involved with your kids’ activities at home and at school to help ensure they are safe and healthy.

Take steps to prevent the flu

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year in the Fall. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough. Use a tissue when touching public surfaces, like elevator buttons or doorknobs. Wash your hands often (see below). Stay at home if you get sick.

Get smart about antibiotics

Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but not viral infections. The common cold and flu are viral infections, so avoid using antibiotics if you have one of these. Using antibiotics when they are not needed causes some bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic, and therefore stronger and harder to kill.

Inspect/maintain home safety devices

Check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year. Replace smoke alarm alkaline batteries at least once a year. Test alarms every month to ensure they work properly. Remember that using space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Practice food safety

Food is center stage during the holidays. Follow these basic food safety steps:

  • Clean hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cook to proper temperatures.
  • Chill promptly.

Sign up to receive automatic food recalls and safety alerts (including allergy alerts) at FoodSafety.gov. Sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other leading health organizations, the site is a good source for food safety tips and education.

Don’t drink and drive

The holidays are a time of celebration. Before imbibing in alcoholic beverages like eggnog, wine or champagne, remember that alcohol use impairs skills you need to drive a car safely. It slows reaction time and impairs judgment and coordination. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let others drink and drive.

Wash your hands often

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It’s best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. If that’s not possible, use alcohol-based hand rubs.

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