Family Health

4 Fall Health and Safety Tips for Your Family

Sep 14 • 2015

As summer winds down and fall approaches, changing temperatures can impact every member of your family. Whether you’re preparing for flu season or adjusting to cooler weather, there are several precautions you can take to make sure your family stays safe and healthy this autumn.

Cold and Flu Prevention
A yearly flu vaccine is one of the most important steps when it comes to keeping yourself protected from influenza viruses. This is especially important for children, pregnant women, elderly people, people with chronic health conditions, and health care industry employees. It is also important to take steps outside of vaccination to stay healthy. These steps include:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Avoiding contact with others who are sick
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are used often
  • Keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a clean tissue when coughing or sneezing

Be Prepared for the Weather
Adjusting to cooler temperatures can be difficult when you’ve become accustomed to dressing for summer weather. This is especially true when the evenings can drop in temperature more dramatically. When you or your family members are leaving the house for the day, be sure to dress in layers so you can stay warm when it gets chilly outside. Make sure your car is stocked with a proper safety kit that includes blankets.

Service Your Home
Your house may feel like the safest place you can be, but the truth is there are a variety of safety hazards that can present themselves in the fall. If you have a working fireplace, make sure that you always use a screen to keep any sparks from jumping out. When a fire is burning, don’t ever leave it unattended. Additionally, make sure it is completely out when the night is over. If you choose to use a space heater instead, make sure to read all instructions completely and make sure there is plenty of unobstructed room around it on all sides. Lastly, ask a professional to inspect your furnace before cold weather arrives so you can be sure everything is working properly.

Maintain Leaves Safely
It is important to make sure your driveway and sidewalks are free of leaves in order to prevent slipping or falling. Leaves can become slippery after rain or dew in the morning, which can pose a hazard for anyone walking in the area. If you are planning to rake, make sure that you use the correct form in order to reduce your risk of a back injury. Stand upright and pull from your arms and legs. When filling leaf bags, make sure not to overfill. Use your legs for support when lifting the bag, not your back.

How do you and your family best prepare for the change in seasons? Share your best fall health and safety tips in the comment section.

To find a doctor, please visit the Find a Doctor page on