Preparation checklist: Are you ready for cold and flu season?

Preparation checklist: Are you ready for cold and flu season?

As the first days of fall arrive, the chill in the air feels thrilling. The leaves change color and pumpkin-flavored items are back on the menu. But the colder temperatures are also an indication that cold and flu season is around the corner.

Cold weather itself doesn’t make you sick, but infectious germs do. The sudden impact of colder temperatures, fluctuations in light and dark cycles, and drier air can combine to weaken immunity and encourage germ transmission. Thanks to longer days indoors, the winter months are also associated with weakened immunity from lower levels of melatonin and Vitamin D.

During the annual cold and flu season, about 50 different flulike illnesses circulate. Not all of these ailments are the flu, but all can feel pretty awful.

Prepare yourself and your family for cold and flu season, and banish the sniffles from your healthy household! This handy checklist is your guide to keeping the smile on your face this winter. Test your cold and flu readiness against these best practices— how many have you already implemented?