Failsafe Ways to Have a Safe, Healthy, and Happy Holidays!
Tis the season for family, festivity, and food—lots of food. Temptations are everywhere, and parties and travel disrupt daily routines. What’s more, it all goes on for weeks. Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.
- Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
- Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are finding support, connecting socially, and getting plenty of sleep.
- Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have more significant health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip, and encourage passengers to do the same.
- Keep an eye on the kids. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
- Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Eat healthily, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
- Be a careful cook. According to the Food Standards Agency, December is one of the most common months for food poisoning. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
- Do something for others. It’s hard to avoid the consumerism that has overtaken Christmas in the western world, but it doesn’t all have to be about giving or receiving gifts. Try to do something for others this festive season, whether baking some extra mince pies for an elderly neighbor or donating gifts to a local charity.
- Keep colds at bay. Colds are rife at Christmas, partly because many of us travel around the country, exposing ourselves – and others – to different cold viruses. Minimize your risks by maintaining a healthy immune system (eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and not smoking will help), so you can fight off any viruses.
- Engage your brain. Instead of switching off in front of the TV, keep your mind active by playing games like Trivial Pursuit or Charades. This is also a great way of getting everyone together.
- Go easy on the booze. If you are firmly ensconced at home over the festive period, those alcohol units can mount up. Mulled wine on Christmas eve, Bucks Fizz with breakfast, wine with dinner, Baileys, brandy… the list goes on! So, try to keep tabs on how much you are drinking and intersperse alcoholic drinks with soft ones.
And most importantly, have a happy, healthy festive season!