Over the last two days, we’ve examined ways Santa—and you—can stay healthy this winter. Our series concludes today with tips on flexibility and flu shots.
Work on Flexibility. “Not a lot of my patients are sliding up and down chimneys, but Santa must be exceptionally nimble to do so,” says Mark Piasio, MD, an orthopedic surgeon from DuBois, PA, and past president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. “I expect he is probably working on his flexibility during the off season at the North Pole. For a man of his age, it can be a great way to stay balanced and flexible, especially when he’s skipping across rooftops, carrying a heavy sack, and hopping in and out of his sleigh so much.”
If You’re in a High-Risk Group, Get a Flu Shot. “Santa never misses an appearance or a delivery, and that makes me think he gets an annual flu shot,” says William Lander, MD, a family practitioner from Bryn Mawr, PA, and a past president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. “He knows how dangerous it would be for him to spread influenza to the children, elves or Mrs. Claus, and how disappointing it would be for him to come down with the virus.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at high risk for complications from the flu are:
- Children ages 6 months to the 5th birthday
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years and older
- Those of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease)
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities.
The CDC also recommends a flu shot if you live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above)
- Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months. (These children are too young to be vaccinated.)
- Healthcare workers
For more facts on flu, click here.