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Get Healthy Carson City: Holiday health and safety tips

Pam Graber
For the Nevada Appeal

This column addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Q: What are some tips for keeping healthy over the holidays?

A: A lot of celebrating takes place over the holidays. Hence, it is an important time to pay special attention to your health. Give the gift of health and safety to yourself and others by following these holiday reminders, brought to you by Carson City Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wash your hands often. This is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Frequently. Use hand wipes or sanitizer if water is not available.

Stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry and warm and dress in loose-fitting layers.

Manage stress. Work hard at keeping your expenditures and commitments in check. Aim for a balance between work, home and play. Get adequate rest. Spend time with family and friends, practice time management and most of all, stay positive.

Travel safely. Don’t drink and drive, or let others drink and drive. Everybody: buckle up!

Be smoke-free. If you smoke, start planning your quit day. If you don’t smoke, don’t allow yourself to breathe second-hand smoke.

Eat healthy and be active. Find a way to be active such as taking walks, using the gym or doing yoga. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. When the tempting holiday buffets appear, select just one or two of your favorites and pass on the rest. Drink moderately.

Handle and prepare food safely. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping ready-to-eat food separate from raw meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Cook food to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not let perishable food sit out for more than two hours.

Get check-ups and vaccinations: Exams and screenings can help arrest problems before they start. Early treatment enhances cure rates. Vaccinations prevent diseases and save lives. Schedule your yearly exam, along with the appropriate tests and vaccinations based on your age, lifestyle, travel plans, medical history and family health history.

Prevent injuries. Think safety. Use step stools instead of furniture for hanging decorations. Wear a bicycle helmet. Keep your walkways free of ice. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, candles or stoves unattended. Check the batteries on your smoke detectors, replacing them twice a year.

The season will be much merrier if you heed these safety recommendations. Happy Holidays!

VACCINATIONS

Vaccination is the best defense against the flu. CCHHS offers flu injections for $20 and nasal mist for $25. No appointment is necessary. Call 887-2195 for more information.

On the Net

gethealthycarsoncity.org

And on Facebook

• Pam Graber is the public information officer at Carson City Health and Human Services. She can be reached at 775-283-7906 pgraber@carson.org.