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EDITORIAL: Handwashing is a must for winter

by HEALTHY LIVING Siloam Springs Regional Hospital | January 3, 2023 at 7:00 a.m.

Handwashing is important year-round, but it often does double duty during winter months when colds and the flu are rampant.

About a billion colds happen annually in the United States, according to the National Library of Medicine. Your best chance at reducing your personal risk starts with regularly washing your hands to fend off germs.

You may remember to wash your hands before using the restroom or eating meals, but do you wash your hands after changing your child's diaper, touching dirty hands, or after you take out the garbage?

Handwashing should be something you do after any activity where you may be exposed to germs, such as cleaning the dishes, playing with your family pet, or coughing or sneezing into your hands.

When in doubt, wash your hands, wrists and nail beds. It only takes 20 seconds of scrubbing with clean, warm water and soap. This one habit helps to stop the spread of germs during the peak cold season.

By mirroring this habit to friends and family, you can make a real difference in your community when it comes to preventive health. Start the trend today.

At-home treatments for the common cold

If you're achy and dealing with nasal congestion and a sore throat, you could be battling a cold -- an infectious disease known as viral rhinitis.

To treat your cold, sleep it off. During waking hours, prioritize hydration and take over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms.

Consuming vitamin C is likely to reduce the overall duration of symptoms only in those who habitually consume it, according to Harvard Health.

If you notice trouble breathing, the National Library of Medicine recommends seeing your doctor immediately. Other reasons to visit your doctor include a high fever or unusual symptoms, such as chest pain or dizziness.

If you have a minor illness and need care that is quick and convenient, Northwest Health Urgent Care in Siloam Springs is close by to help treat everything from sore throats to broken bones. No appointment is needed. Visit https://bit.ly/SiloamUrgentCare or call 479-215-3080 for more information.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a licensed 73-bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.

Print Headline: Handwashing is a must for winter


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