Get Healthy: Health tips for a happy holiday season

The holidays are happier if you are well and healthy to celebrate. In this week’s article, we wanted to pass along a few tips to keep you and yours safe, happy, and healthy this winter.

The holiday season is one of socializing, parties, and spending time with loved ones — and of sharing germs and illness. Wash hands often to keep yourself from spreading germs and getting sick. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer is a good alternative.

Bundle up to stay dry and warm: As the temperature drops, the risk of frostbite and other cold-related injuries increases. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: dress in layers with warm outerwear, mittens, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.

Manage stress: Don’t over-commit yourself. It can be tempting to rush around shopping for gifts, attending parties and visiting relatives. Prevent holiday anxiety and pressure by scheduling time to relax and by making sure you get enough sleep. Another way to avoid stress is by setting a budget and sticking to it this holiday season. A financial shortfall is a sure route to stress.

Don’t drink and drive or let others get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol: The holiday party season can lead some to overindulge and become intoxicated. Make sure you designate a driver before the party starts to ensure everyone arrives home safely afterward. Whenever anyone drives drunk, that puts everyone on the road in danger.

Many people choose to travel to visit friends and relatives over holiday breaks: The increased volume of traffic on the roads, with drivers in a hurry or distracted, can lead to higher odds of a motor vehicle accident. While you’re headed over the river and through the woods, don’t forget to fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child safely in the car. Use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.

Practice fire safety: Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so be careful to never leave fireplaces, space heaters, stoves, or candles unattended. Make sure holiday lights are plugged in to approved extension cords, and don’t overload your electrical outlets with too many lights and decorations.

Hosting family and friends for holiday parties is fun: Getting food poisoning isn’t. For your holiday gatherings, prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate promptly.

Follow these tips to keep your season merry and bright.

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