10 tips to avoid holiday health hazards
The holidays are a time to celebrate and reflect, but they are also a time to pay special attention to your health. Bethany Simpson, PA, offered a few tips to avoid holiday health hazards and help you stay safe and healthy this holiday season.
- Prevent injuries. Injuries from falls and fireworks often occur around the holidays. Use ladders instead of furniture when hanging decorations. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
- Avoid housefires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees and curtains. Don’t use generators, grills or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices in your home or garage. Never leave fireplaces, stoves or candles unattended. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test and change the batteries regularly.
- Stay warm. Cold temperatures can be dangerous, especially among infants and the elderly. Wear loose, multilayered clothing and stay dry.
- Manage stress. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending, balance work, home and play, get support from family and friends, keep a relaxed and positive outlook and get enough sleep.
- Travel safely. The holiday season calls for lots of traveling to see family and friends. Whether you’re traveling across town or around the world, ensure your trip is safe. Wear a seatbelt every time your drive or ride in a motor vehicle, always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt according to their height, weight and age and get vaccinations if traveling out of the country.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and breathing other people’s smoke. If you smoke, quit today!
- Never drink and drive. Make sure you have a designated driver if you’ll be consuming alcohol or catch a ride back home. Don’t get behind the wheel even if you only feel tipsy.
- Watch the kids. Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy) and other objects out of kids’ reach and learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking.
- Handle and prepare food safely. To avoid foodborne illness as you prepare holiday meals, be sure to keep your hands and surfaces clean. Keep items such as raw meat and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces to avoid cross contamination. Cook foods to a safe temperature, refrigerate right away and do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
- Wash your hands often. Be sure to use good hand hygiene to avoid spreading germs. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Avoid holiday health hazards and enjoy the holidays and time spent with family and friends.
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