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Flu Season:


This time of year is called “flu season.” In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February and can last as late as May.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications.

Flu Symptoms are different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose/li>
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

Who is Most at Risk?

Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years.

Local Health Observances

December 2018 is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

 

Sponsored By: Prevent Blindness America

The month of December is known as Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. 72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets.

This holiday season (and beyond), please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:

  • Inspect toys before purchasing. Avoid those with flying parts or that shoot.
  • Toys should not have sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand any significant impact without breaking.
  • Choose toy for children with special needs that appeal to different senses such as texture, sound, and movement. Consider toys size appropriate and those that allow the child to play with others. Inspect the toys your child receives. Check for age and skill level.
  • Make sure of the developmental appropriateness. Make sure the toys have passed a safety inspection. “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
  • Make sure Crayons are “nontoxic.” Make sure the toys do not have small part including magnets or small button batteries.
  • Make sure the toys do not contain lead. Make sure toys do not have ropes or heating elements.
Disclaimer: healthelinks is intended for information purposes only, not to offer medical advice.
Please consult your doctor about any personal health concerns.
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