Prevea Health

10 Ways to Stay Healthy and Safe During the Holidays

 
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Enjoying time with family and friends is a big part of what makes the holiday season so special. This time of year also makes you appreciate the gift of health. To maintain your health, keep these quick tips in mind as you prepare for and enjoy all that the holidays have to offer.

1. Wash your hands often
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds. 

2. Stay warm
Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers.

3. Manage stress
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.

4. Travel safely
Whether you're traveling across town or around the world, ensure your trip is safe. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let someone else drink and drive. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a 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.

5. Be smoke-free
Avoid smoking and breathing other people's smoke. If you smoke, quit today! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or talk to your health care provider for help.

6. Get check-ups and vaccinations
Exams and screenings can help find 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 doctor 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. 

7. Watch the kids
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 (like coins and hard candy), 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.

8. Prevent injuries
Injuries can happen anywhere, and some often occur around the holidays. Use step stools instead of climbing on furniture when hanging decorations. 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. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries twice a year.

9. 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.

10. Eat healthy and be active
With 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 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.


Our partnership with the Center for Childhood Safety allows the opportunity to work closely together on injury prevention programs and keeping our children safe. For more information on this topic and resources on a variety of child safety topics, click here.
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