(BPT) - SPONSORED BY MERCK - As we all adjust to new routines during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how to help keep your family healthy. Here are five ways you can help protect your health, and the health of your family, during these uncertain times:
1. Make (and keep) well-child appointments
Given pandemic-related restrictions (like stay-at-home orders) in place across the country, many people have canceled or delayed regular well-child visits. But many public health experts warn this can put your child and community at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. Health care providers are working hard to help protect you, both inside and outside of the office. Call your provider and ask about steps being taken to help keep you safe, such as wait-in-car protocols and separate hours or different locations for sick visits versus well visits.
2. Stay up-to-date on your vaccines
The CDC has vaccine recommendations that apply to people of all ages. With flu season lurking right around the corner, now is the time to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on flu and other recommended vaccines. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist which vaccines might be right for you and your loved ones.
3. Keep your distance and wear a mask
We know you’ve heard this before, but it can be easy to forget as you get more comfortable venturing outside of your home. To practice proper social distancing, the CDC recommends staying at least six feet away from people who are not from your household. And don’t leave home without a mask. Masks covering the nose and mouth help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with social distancing in public settings.
4. Take care of your mental and emotional health
It is natural to be experiencing increased stress, anxiety, grief and worry these days. Experts suggest making time to unwind and do activities you and your family enjoy. And seek help if you need it.
5. Be physically active
It’s more important than ever for people of all ages to stay active. According to the CDC, physical activity — even in your home — can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight, and reduce risk factors for a variety of health conditions. Get creative and explore ways to keep moving!