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Keep your family healthy this winter

Keep your family healthy this winter with a warm and dry home

As the weather gets colder help keep your family healthy with a warm and dry home.

Homes that are warm, dry, uncrowded and smokefree can help protect you and your family from illnesses such as asthma, respiratory infections and rheumatic fever. “We know this is often more easily said than done. Overcrowding is sometimes unavoidable, not all houses are in good repair and heating can be expensive. However, there are key things that you can think about to help keep your home healthy - keep heat in, keep moisture out, and keep the air clean,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.

To help keep heat in your home, it helps to have thick curtains and to open your curtains during the day and close them at night. Stop draughts under doors and around windows where you can. Find out if your home is insulated, if not you may qualify to have insulation installed for free.

Keep moisture out of your home by opening windows to let steam out of the laundry, kitchen and bathroom areas or by using an extractor fan if you have one. It also helps to put lids on pots when cooking meals. Dry your clothes washing outside or in the garage/carport and if you have a clothes dryer vent it to the outside. Wipe off any water that has collected on walls or windows. Check for water leaks from guttering or plumbing and repair them, or let your landlord know.

“To help keep the air clean in your home, make your home smokefree,” says Dr Miller. Also avoid using unflued portable LPG gas heaters, as they produce moisture and may pollute the air. Opening your windows for a few minutes each day lets in fresh air.

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