Stay Healthy All Winter Long

With winter in full swing, learn more about the resources available to you and your family that can help boost your physical and mental health all season long.

  • Jan 23, 2024, 12:00 PM

This season, don't let the cooties get to you and your family.

With winter in full swing, now's as good a time as any for us to consider how we can keep ourselves and our families healthy, physically and mentally, the rest of the season.

Did you know that respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, RSV, and the seasonal flu are more common during cooler months? Older adults, young children, and people with certain underlying medical conditions are often at the highest risk of getting sick or having severe illnesses from these viruses.

And the season can also affect our mental health—many people experience "winter blues" during this time of the year and not feel like their usual selves. From feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to persistent anxiousness and irritability, winter can be rough on even the toughest New Fortunately, there are several things you and your loved ones can do to stay safe this winter:

- Get vaccinated, and protect yourself from severe illness

Vaccines are the best way to prevent illness and spreading them to others. Speak with your health care provider if you have questions about vaccinations. And don't forget that all NYC students, two months through 18 years old, must receive certain vaccinations—including children in public, private, parochial, day care, Head Start, Pre-K, or nursery programs.

- Learn where to get COVID-19 vaccines near you

COVID-19 remains incredibly dangerous; use the Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccination site near you.

- Get your flu shots if you haven't already

Everyone six months of age and up should get a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine every year. And it's not too late—you can get your flu shot at doctor's offices, pharmacies, community health clinics, and even through some employers. Check out the NYC Vaccine Finder to find a provider near you. 

Clipart–like graphic of a nurse/medical professional administering a vaccine. There's a speech bubble over the nurse that reads,


- Stay home when sick

Don't try to be a hero! If you and/or your child are not feeling well, STAY HOME. Remember—rest can help you and your child get better sooner, and you'll be doing your part to help prevent the spread of germs. Stay home if you have a fever, and definitely stay home if you and/or your child have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or any other confirmed diagnosis of an illness that can spread to others.

- Have your doctor ready to call, just in case

Keep your regular health care provider's contact information (i.e. office phone number, email, etc.) handy in case you need to contact them for questions or appointments. If you do not have a health care provider, you may call 311 or NYC Health and Hospitals (H+H) at (844)-NYC-4NYC. Health care is available in the City, regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay.

- Need to talk to someone? Help can be a phone call or text message away.

Whether you're struggling with mental health challenges or just want somebody to talk to about your daily ups and downs, there are services and programs available for City residents. NYC 988 (formerly NYC Well) connects New Yorkers to free, confidential mental health support or substance use services through counselors who are available to speak by phone, text, or online chat. And NYC 988 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long, in almost any language

Likewise, NYC Teenspace is a free mental health support program available specifically to City teens who are 13–17 years old. Teens can sign up for Teenspace to be connected to a licensed therapist for ongoing support.

Young couple happily walking down a street together while pushing a stroller.

With these tips, it's our hope that you and your family will stay safe and illness-free through Spring Recess and beyond! For more health guidance and family resources, visit our very own "Tips for Staying Healthy" webpage.

On behalf of NYC Public Schools, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy remainder of the winter season.