How to be healthy and prevent diseases

Tips on how to be healthy

How to be healthy

There are many things you can do to maintain your health and prevent the spread of diseases. You can find tips on how to be healthy here.

Hand-washing

Hand-washing is the most important thing you can do keep you and your family healthy. This is because many germs (things that cause sickness) are spread by contact. Make sure you wash your hands after you sneeze or cough, before preparing food, after you use the toilet, after you touch a sick person, after you handle garbage or fecal matter and after you touch an animal.

You can learn more at the following link about  how to wash your hands correctly.

Oral health

Taking care of your mouth and teeth is important for avoiding health problems. Doctors recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. You should also visit the dental hygienist at your dentist’s office every six months to have your teeth cleaned and checked.

Follow this link for more information about how to take care of your mouth and teeth.

Preventing the spread of colds and flu

Certain illnesses, like a cold or flu, spread easily between people.

There are three important things you can do to protect other people from catching your cold or flu are:

  1. Covering your nose when you sneeze
  2. Covering your mouth when you cough
  3. Washing your hands every time you sneeze and cough.

Learn more about how to prevent the spread of colds and flu.

CDC has a page for even more information about things you can do to prevent the spread of disease at home, work, school, and in public.

Head lice

Head lice are tiny bugs that live on human heads. They survive by feeding on blood from the top of your head, causing an intensely itchy and irritated feeling. Lice can spread very easily from person to person and are a very common problem among children. (Lice frequently spread where there are groups of children, for example at a school.)

If you or your child have lice, it is not a sign of poor cleanliness. However, you will have to take certain steps in order to make sure the problem goes away. To learn more about head lice, follow this link.

Bedbugs

Similar to lice, bedbugs are tiny bugs that bite humans, causing itchiness and severe irritation on the skin around the bite. Unlike lice, bedbugs live primarily in furniture and clothing.  Bedbugs can spread very easily between people, so it’s important to be aware of how to prevent them.

Follow this link below to find more information about the signs and symptoms of bedbugs and how to control the problem. The information is in many languages.

How to have healthy sleeping habits

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your physical and mental health. Most adults need between 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Follow the link below to learn more about the benefits of sleep and to explore whether or not you might have a sleep disorder (chronic problems getting a good night’s sleep).

The Sleep Education Organization developed healthy sleeping basics.

Developing healthy sleeping habits

  • Exercise every day.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Follow a bed time ritual.
  • Avoid bright lights at night time.
  • Avoid heavy food at night time.
  • Read a book.
  • Turn off electronic devices like your phone and computer an hour or two before going to bed.
  • You know what works best for you, so follow your own guidance!

Sleep for kids

It is particularly important for children to get a good night’s sleep. Children need more sleep than adults. It is particularly important for their physical and mental development.

Click on the link to learn more about the sleep needs of children.

When you make sure your kids get enough sleep, you are preparing them to do better in school. At the same time that you are helping them to develop life-long healthy habits.

You will be surprised about the difference it makes to get enough sleep! Don’t forget to spread the word in your community about the benefits of sleeping.

How to stop smoking

People start smoking for different reasons. Many countries don’t provide information on the harmful effect of smoking and therefore smoking is a common practice. Whatever your reason was for starting to smoke, quitting will be beneficial to your health. Smoking leads to cancer and other serious illnesses.

According to the CDC, smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. It is the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking increases your risks to develop the following conditions:

  • Asthma and secondhand smoke
  • Cancer
  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • Risks during pregnancy
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Lung diseases

Learn more about the health effects of cigarette smoking by visiting the CDC Smoking and Tobacco use page here.

Quitting smoking is hard for everyone. The longer you have smoked, the harder it is! This is because smoking is addictive. You  do not have to do it alone. Tell your doctor about your interest in quitting to get help, such as a pill or a patch that will help make the process easier.

Products to help stop smoking include:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patches
  • Electronic cigarettes

Note: If you are enrolled in Medicaid then anything that helps you stop smoking will be covered under your insurance plan. Many private plans will also cover these aids.

Here is some more information about where to go in the United States to find help quitting smoking.

The Mayo Clinic also has many suggestions about how to prepare yourself to successfully quit.

Here is a link to an article about “Immigrant and Refugee Health: The Dangers of Smoking” by the Quit Day organization.

A research by the BMJ Open suggests smokers make an average of 30 attempts before they successfully quit smoking. Keep this in mind when you attempt to quit and don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed at your first attempt. Even a minimal reduction on your smoking habits, moves you forward in your path to quitting smoking!

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