As the season’s change so may some of our health and safety concerns.
The winter season can be hectic as many of us are preparing for and attending holiday celebrations. The weather is cooler, there are less hours of daylight, and many of us may find it hard to get enough physical activity. The snow and ice can create hazards that can make walking, playing and working outdoors a little trickier. It is also flu and cold season and many of us will come down with the flu or catch a cold. Throughout the winter, it is important that we continue to stay active, eat healthy, and take care of our families and ourselves.
For information on how to stay safe and healthy this winter, click on the links below.
Many of us will come down with the flu (influenza) this season. For information about the flu, including the differences between the flu and a cold, how the flu can be prevented, what the symptoms are, home treatments, and more, click on the links below.
- Colds and Flu
- Facts about Influenza (the Flu) (HealthLinkBC File #12b)
- Hand Washing for Parents and Children (HealthLinkBC File #85)
- How to Take a Temperature: Children and Adults (HealthLinkBC File #99)
- Influenza (Flu) Season
Common Illnesses in Winter
In addition to colds and flu, there are some other conditions and illnesses that are more common or are worse during the winter months. Click on the links below for more information.
- Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
- Dry Skin and Itching
- Ear Infections
- Gastroenteritis in Adults and Older Children
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sore Throat and Other Throat Problems
During cold and flu season many people have questions about using antibiotics when they are sick. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and can treat infections such as strep throat or sinus infections. They do not work against illnesses caused by a virus such as the common cold or the flu. Click on the links below to learn more.
- Bronchitis: Should I take Antibiotics?
- Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
- Prescription Medicines - Antibiotics
- Sinusitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Sore Throat: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Using Antibiotics Wisely
For more information about using antibiotics, visit BC Centre for Disease Control – Do Bugs Needs Drugs?
Throughout the winter season, temperatures will drop, and it may be very cold outside. To learn about cold exposure, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, click on the links below.
- Cold Exposure: Ways the Body Loses Heat
- Cold Temperature Exposure
- Hypothermia and Cold Temperature Exposure
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. In addition, the shorter and colder days may cause some of us to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). To learn more about depression, anxiety and stress, click on the links below.
Falls and Injuries
The snow and ice can create hazards that make walking, playing, and working outside a little trickier than in the warmer months. Shovelling snow and doing winter activities, such as snowboarding and skating, can increase the risk of hurting your back. Learn more about how to prevent falls and injuries by clicking on the links below.
- Back Problems and Injuries
- Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries
- Preventing Falls in Older Adults
- Seniors' Falls Can Be Prevented
- Toe, Foot, and Ankle Injuries
Healthy Eating During the Holidays
Eating well during the holiday season can be a challenge. Click on the links below to learn more about how you can enjoy the holiday festivities while continuing to eat healthy.
- Eating Healthy at Holiday Parties
- Heart Healthy Tips for Celebrations: Guidelines for Eating and Celebrations
- How to Stay Motivated: Meet Your Goals For The Year
- Manage Holiday Cheer One Drink at a Time
- One Ingredient at a Time: How to Lighten Up Your Holiday Recipes
- Sweet, Savoury, Delicious Holiday Foods: Tips for Eating Healthy at Holiday Parties
As the weather gets colder and there are less hours of daylight, it can be hard to stay physically active. Click on the links below to learn how you and your family can stay active throughout the winter.
- Physical Activity in Winter
- Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
- Physical Activity for Children and Teenagers
- Quick Tips: Getting Active as a Family
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Cold Weather
As we start a new year, many of us will set goals for our health. For some of us that may mean quitting smoking. To learn more about quitting smoking and the smoking cessation program available to B.C. residents, click on the links below.
- Interactive Tool: Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
- Quit Smoking
- Quitting Smoking (HealthLinkBC File #30c)
- The Harmful Effects of Second-hand Smoke (HealthLinkBC File #30a)
- Tobacco Products are not a Safe Alternative to Cigarettes (HealthLinkBC File #30b)
When to Visit the Emergency Room
The Emergency Room (ER) in hospitals can be very busy, especially during the holidays. For serious and life-threatening issues like heart attack or stroke, heavy bleeding, severe breathing difficulties, severe burns, ongoing seizures, or a major accident, the ER is always the right place. But for those with non-emergency health questions and concerns, it may not be.
If you are unsure if a health concern is an emergency, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for advice. Taking a proactive approach to your health can also help you make decisions on when to seek care, click on the links below for more information.
Your Healthy Winter Guide by Fraser Health:
ImmunizeBC works to improve the health of British Columbians and reduce the number of infections by vaccine-preventable diseases by providing information on immunizations to individuals, families, and health care providers. They also provide tools to make it easier for B.C. families to get immunized. For information on where you can locate flu clinics across the province, or to learn more about the flu and the flu vaccine, click on the links below.
Last Reviewed: December 2017