December marks one of the happiest months of the year; however, from family visits to holiday traveling, the season can also be stressful. It’s important to remember to focus on your health and safety as you navigate through the holiday season. Read below for the most common health questions (and answers) asked during the holidays, courtesy of Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, one of San Francisco’s fastest-growing urgent care providers.
HOW CAN I AVOID GETTING SICK DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
Holiday traditions often mean going to crowded areas: the mall, holiday parties, the theater, and so forth. So what can you do to avoid the spreading germs? Wash your hands often, and make sure you scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing under running water. Although washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also reduce the number of germs on your hands. Another simple way to avoid getting sick is to get fresh air, even if it’s cold outside. The reason we tend to get sick when it’s colder is we’re inside where germs get trapped and can spread more easily. Finally, don’t forget to hydrate. Drinking more fluids can boost your immune system and help you fight illness.
I GOT A COLD ANYWAY, WHAT NOW?
You know what they say about the best-laid plans … chances are despite your best efforts, you or your kids will get a few colds this season. Pay close attention to your cold symptoms for any sign of progressive worsening. A fever isn’t necessarily bad; it can indicate that the body is fighting off the infection, but if a fever lasts longer than two or three days, seek medical attention. If you or your child aren’t responding to home treatment or you don’t feel comfortable providing home treatment for your child’s level of illness, visit your nearest Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care center. Medical professionals can address and treat these cold symptoms immediately, with no need to wait for your child’s pediatrician to have an opening or to make a costly emergency room visit.
HOW DO I DEAL WITH HOLIDAY STRESS?
One way to reduce stress is to exercise. Exercise is good for you for many reasons because it relieves stress and improves muscular function and strength. Whether you do cardio exercises like running or cycling, or flexibility workouts like yoga or Pilates, you can’t go wrong with daily exercise. If you’re exercising regularly, you’re not sedentary — a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
Also, it sounds cliché, but try to get a good night’s sleep. To truly reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep, it needs to be quality sleep. Getting not just the right amount of sleep, but also the right quality of sleep can do wonders for your health. To get the best sleep possible, keep your room cool, skip water right before sleeping, listen to calm music, don’t shower if you normally shower in the morning because it will give your brain a misleading message, sleep without your pet to avoid awakening from its movement, and try an air purifier to help improve allergy symptoms.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET A NASTY BURN WHILE COOKING?
First, try not to panic. To mitigate the initial pain, run the burnt area under lukewarm or cool water (not icy cold, which can actually damage the sensitized tissue) for 10 to 15 minutes. In addition to soothing the pain, the cool water can keep the burn from worsening. Once the area calms down, you’ll need to assess the severity. For mild burns (scalded by hot water), use aloe and soothing creams to treat the pain, but avoid cotton ball wraps. Materials that are rough on the surface of the burn will only worsen the burn area. For severe burns (touched something burning hot like an electric coil on the stove), avoid cotton wraps. Soothe and protect the area with antibiotic creams. Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen can minimize painful symptoms.
Treating your burn properly prevents complications and infection. Untreated burns are more likely to result in long-term scarring or be vulnerable to bacteria that infect the sensitized, damaged tissue. Those who are five years behind on a tetanus booster run the additional risk of contracting the tetanus bacterial infection from a burn. Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are poised to provide comprehensive burn care services with minimal wait.
We hope you have a safe holiday season!
Christopher Bialecki heads business development in the San Francisco Bay Area for Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, the largest urgent care provider in the San Francisco Bay Area. Come visit your neighborhood center at 3259 Pierce Street (near Chestnut), or call 415-965-7942, and learn how Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care can serve your urgent health care needs. Learn more at GoHealthUC.com.
This article is sponsored by Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.