Staying healthy is something we all take seriously. It starts with each one of us and extends across our community. Whether you live here year round or are just visiting, it’s essential we all practice healthy actions every day.
Practice Everyday Healthy Actions
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds before you eat, after your sneeze and after using the bathroom.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers in addition to hand-washing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid community candy jars and be careful at buffets where many people touch surfaces or utensils.
- Sneeze and cough into a sleeve rather than into your hand or the air. If you used a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid contact with anyone with cold or flu symptoms.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
- If you’re sick or you are immune-compromised, avoid places with large numbers of people.
Temperatures fluctuate significantly throughout the day in the mountains. What starts off cool, can move to hotter temperatures through out the day. The CDC provides these tips to stay cool:
- Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
- Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
- Do Not Leave Children or Pets in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.
Steamboat Springs is located more than a mile above sea level and rises over 10,000 feet in many places. Altitude sickness occurs when the body reacts poorly to sudden travel to high altitudes, where the air is "thinner" and the body gets less oxygen in each breath. People coming from lower elevations may experience altitude illness, which usually occurs within the first 48 hours. You may experience headache, dizziness, nausea, sleep problems, loss of appetite, coughing and/or difficulty breathing. The best remedy is to follow the guidelines below:
- Exercise in moderation the first few days
- Drink more water than usual
- Reduce alcohol intake, which has a greater effect at this altitude
- Eat food high in carbohydrates and low in fat: grains, pasta, fruits and vegetables; and, avoid salty foods and caffeine.
- Hydrate and refuel regularly, not just at lunch
Altitude sickness is usually a minor problem; however, if symptoms persist you should seek medical attention. High elevation can also accentuate existing health problems. If you have a respiratory or vascular illness, consult your doctor before your trip. Seek medical assistance if problems persist or get worse.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – drink as a preventive measure. The air is drier and your body will dehydrate much more quickly in our mountain environment. The higher in elevation you go up, the more water you should drink.
- Keep Your Pets Hydrated Too: Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
Ultraviolet rays are more powerful at Steamboat Springs’ elevation. Regardless of your skin color or complexion, everyone needs to wear a protective sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) even on overcast days when ultraviolet rays can penetrate cloud cover and continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
- Tip: Look for sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels- these products work best.
A good pair of goggles or sunglasses that not only cut glare but also filter the ultraviolet rays is strongly recommended. In addition, wear light-colored clothing and cover up with a wide-brimmed hat.