4 WINTER ILLNESSES YOU’D RATHER AVOID
Know What to Look for Before They Attack
Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. THE COMMON COLD Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. BRONCHIOLITIS Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. If at all concerned, be sure to seek the advice of your pediatrician. INFLUENZA The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid
catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine.
STREP THROAT A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.
HOME HEATING DISASTERS
HOW YOU COULD PUT YOUR HOME IN DANGER THIS WINTER
There’s nothing quite like curling up on a cold winter’s day with a mug of hot chocolate, your favorite book, and a cozy blanket. Unfortunately, this scenario is often ruined by overheating home systems or furnaces that just aren’t doing the trick. Don’t get caught making these home heating mistakes. Stay warm — and safe — this winter. SPACE HEATERS Think twice before reaching for the space heater this winter. This extra form of heat can actually be one of the most dangerous devices in your home. According to Consumer Reports, about 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths can be attributed to space heaters. If you think you need a space heater to feel warm this winter, we recommend getting your furnace checked for possible issues. If you have to use a space heater, look for one with a high safety rating, keep the device on a flat, sturdy surface about 3 feet away from any material, and look for heaters that won’t emit carbon monoxide. CROWDING YOUR HEAT SOURCE While space heaters are dangerous when they spark materials in your home, all your heating sources can be fire hazards if anything gets too close. Don’t keep your bills or an antique table next to your furnace, and don’t let your
curtains drape over your wall furnace. These devices are made for emitting heat, and while it takes a spark to start a fire, heat can damage some of your favorite items or your home.
CRANKING UP THE HEAT If you feel like you’re constantly changing the temperature on your thermostat, your furnace may be screaming for a tuneup. If you're trying to set a certain temperature in your home yet you constantly have to overshoot that temperature on your thermostat, you’re forcing your furnace to work harder than it needs to. Furthermore, you may be forcing it to work while it’s malfunctioning, putting your home at grave risk. Don’t sacrifice your safety for a bit of warmth this winter. Have the experts at Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley check your system. Call 845-256-6158 or visit AireServ.com/mid-hudson-valley.
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