None of us seem to have a moment to spare these days; we’re getting the kids ready for school, running family members to sports practices, doctor’s appointments, birthday parties – you name it.
Still, you can find five minutes. I know you can do it.
For example, in one minute or less you can:
- Wash your hands. Use plenty of soap and clean, warm running water for at least 20 seconds to lower your risk of spreading germs and getting sick. Flu season is right around the corner, it’s time to make hand washing a priority (you’ll thank me in February).
- Prevent Poisonings. We all have medications and cleaning chemicals around the house. Take a minute (maybe two) and make sure you’re using them as directed and that they’re well out of reach of children. Remember your kids may have grown since you last moved your cleaning supplies! Also, make sure the number to Poison Control (800-222-1222) is close at hand so you’re ready to make the call in an emergency.
- Buckle up. It only takes seconds to lower your risk for traffic accident-related injuries. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in kids in the United States. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. Have kids and a few extra seconds (yes, I know that’s unlikely improbable impossible)? Read over the CDC’s Child Passenger Safety Fact Sheet.
- Send a health-e-card. We can all use reminders when it comes to making healthy decisions. Tell a man you care about to Man Up, encourage Emergency Preparedness with one of the CDC’s infamous zombie apocalypse cards, or make sure Safety is on your student’s back to school list.
In five minutes, you can:
- Test your smoke alarms. When was the last time you actually checked to be sure your smoke alarm works? Most of us hear the reminders, but do you actually test them? Better yet – review your plan of action. What will you do if the alarm goes off?
- Make an appointment. Due for a check-up, mammogram, vaccination, vision check, dental exam, blood pressure check, Pap test, blood test, or prostate exam? None of them are particularly fun, but putting them off can be hazardous to your health. Make the appointment. If you’re going in for an overall check-up, complete this checklist first to get the most out of your visit.
- Take a quiz. No one likes a pop quiz, but these won’t affect your grade point average and could help you lead a healthier life. Know When Antibiotics Work is a particularly good refresher as we near flu season.
- Take a break. Whether you’re feeling the stress at work (or home) or you feel like you might be coming down with something, taking a few minutes to clear your head can make all the difference in the world. A quick walk – even if it’s around your floor at work – can change your perspective and help you make better decisions moving forward.
You can complete this entire list in less than 30 minutes (if you really want to tackle them all at once). Spread them out over a week if you want – just find the time, it’s for your health!