Holiday Safety

Destiny Floyd

The holidays are a great way to enjoy spending time with family and friends, celebrating life, being grateful, and reflecting on the important things. They are also a time to appreciate good health. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. You have party decorations and shopping on your mind. But that’s all the more reason to stay alert and be aware of any potential danger. Whether you’re traveling across town or around the world, ensure that your trip is safe. Don’t drink of drive. Don’t let anyone else drink and drive either.

The potential for injury and illness exists at all times, particularly during the holidays. Cover your nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warm in layers. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health and pocketbook. Keep your commitments and spending in check. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook. Make sure to get proper sleep. Wear a seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt appropriate for his/her height, weight, and age. Get check¬ups and vaccinations. Exams and screenings can help detect potential problems early, when the chances for treatment and cure are often better. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider for needed exams and screenings. Ask what vaccinations and tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle, travel plans, medical history, and family health history. Get health insurance through healthcare.gov if needed. Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep a watchful eye on your kids when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards and other objects out of kids’ reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking. Make sure toys are used properly. Develop rules about acceptable and safe behaviors, including using electronic media. Use step stools instead of climbing on furniture when hanging decorations. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or skateboarding to help prevent head injuries. Keep vaccinations up to date.

Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Don’t use generators, grills, or other gasoline¬ or charcoal¬-burning devices inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries twice a year.

Handle and prepare food safely. As you prepare holiday meals, keep yourself and your family safe from food¬-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross¬-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-¬to-¬eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. When you choose balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Limit fats, salt, and sugary foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least two and a half hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least one hour a day.

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