5 Tips to Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright
The holiday season is a time for family, fun, and festivities. But it's also a time when accidents and injuries can happen. To help you enjoy a safe holiday season, here are some health and safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Reduce stress.
From present wrapping to reuniting with family, attending parties, and heading to the grocery stores — the holiday season is a busy one. Though it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, it can be one of the most stressful.
However, it's essential to do what you can to reduce stress to prevent significant health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity, asthma, and headaches. Stress can also worsen conditions such as arthritis, psoriasis, and eczema and affect your mental health.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, there are things you can do to manage it this holiday season:
- Identify your stressors.
- Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms.
- Find ways to relax and calm your mind.
- Connect with loved ones.
- Get plenty of sleep.
2. Be careful with holiday decorations.
There’s nothing quite like the twinkle of a Christmas tree or a perfectly lined roof adorned with bright lights, but these holiday decorations can quickly become a hazard. When hanging lights, use proper ladders and never put them up while wet or in windy conditions. And when trimming the holiday tree, be sure to use caution with sharp knives and power tools.
Heading to the ER After a Fall
It's easy to slip and fall while hanging lights on the house or decorating. If you've taken a spill, it's essential to know when to seek emergency care. Here are three signs that you should visit the emergency room after a fall:
- You hit your head. Even if you don't feel like you have a concussion, you could have suffered internal bleeding.
- You can't move your arm or leg. If you fall and are unable to move one of your limbs, it could be a sign of a serious injury. This is especially true if the limb feels numb or tingly.
- You're in pain. If the pain is severe or gets worse over time, it's a sign that you should seek medical care.
If you've fallen and are unsure whether or not you need to go to the emergency room, it's always better to err on the side of caution.
3. Remember to manage your health.
From holiday parties to travel plans, there are plenty of opportunities for us to pick up germs and get sick. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy during the holidays:
- Wash your hands regularly and often. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness.
- Avoid touching your face. We touch our faces an average of 16 times per hour, so it's no surprise that this is one of the main ways that germs are transmitted.
- Get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu, and there are also vaccines available for other common holiday illnesses like pneumonia.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to keep your body healthy and can help prevent dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to illness.
- Eat healthy foods. A healthy diet helps to boost your immune system and gives your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong.
4. Prepare food properly.
With the rush of the holidays comes the rush to make sure your meal is perfect — especially if you’re headed to your mother-in-law’s or another loved one’s home. Though the holiday season is a time for friends, family, and good food, holiday meals can be a source of food-borne illness. Follow these tips to help keep your holiday feast safe:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after handling raw meat, poultry, or eggs.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the "danger zone" between 40°F and 140°F.
- Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from other foods. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked food.
- Cook food to the proper temperature. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and seafood are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Bacteria can grow rapidly on food that is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Food Posioning Symptoms
Symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, it can even be life-threatening. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain
You may also experience fever, chills, or body aches. If you develop any of these symptoms after eating food that you think may be contaminated, you must seek medical care immediately. In some cases, food poisoning can lead to severe complications, such as dehydration, which can be life-threatening. You should always seek care if you believe you have food poisoning.
5. Be mindful of your alcohol intake.
Celebrating with alcohol is common during the holiday season, but drinking responsibly is important. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration, weight gain, and even liver damage. If you're going to drink, do so in moderation and ensure you're drinking plenty of water.