by Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS

We originally shared these holiday safety tips when we our blog first launched.  Safety never goes out of style though, so we’re sharing it again! It’s helpful to periodically review safety tips to make sure they are on the front of your mind, especially during active times like the holiday season.  Enjoy! Be well!

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Few things can ruin  the holiday spirit like a trip to the emergency room. Infectious diseases are not the only risk during this time of year. Preventable injuries are too.

The Center for Disease Control offers a few suggestions to help you this season. To maintain optimal health, wellness, and  good cheer for your family, keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy the season.   Your loved ones will appreciate receiving the gift of health and safety in addition to all their other goodies.  You’ll be happy you added it to your family’s wellness plan.

1) Manage stress: The increased activities and demands of the holiday can increase stress levels.  Take steps to reduce stress:  Don’t overextend or over commit yourself.  Only spend money you can afford to spend. Do something relaxing.  Ask for help if you need it.

2) Prevent fires: Candles are a great way to set a relaxing mood, but they require extra attention to stay safe while relaxing: Check all electrical wires.  Don’t use anything that has frayed or damaged wires.   Don’t leave burning candles unattended.   Keep flames away from children, pets, curtains, trees, and walkways.   Make sure you have fresh batteries in your smoke detector.

3) Wash your hands often: Clean hands are one of the most effective ways to stay healthy during the winter.  Wash hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. If these aren’t available use an alcohol based product.

4) Stay warm: Getting too cold can cause health problems, especially for young people or older adults.   Stay warm and dry, especially when outside.  Dressing in layers also helps increase comfort.

5) Prevent  injuries: Prevent falls by making sure walkways are clear, both inside and outside.  Secure cords along walls so people don’t trip over them.  Shovel snowy sidewalks and driveways as soon as possible and take appropriate precautions to prevent icy walkways.

6) Travel safely: Whether taking a road trip or driving around the corner, be sure to travel safely: Never drink and drive.  Wear seat belts. Use appropriate car seats for children.  Stay off the roads during inclement weather.

7) Watch the kids: Preventable injuries frequently happen to children during large gatherings.  Just because there are a lot of adults present doesn’t mean they are all paying attention to children. Don’t assume someone is watching the children.  Keep a watchful eye on your children,  when they are eating and playing.  Keep dangerous foods and toys away from them.  If you are busy, assign someone to watch the kids or pay someone to babysit.

8) Eat healthy and stay active: It’s possible to make healthy food and fitness choices during the holiday.  For example, choose fresh fruit as a healthy substitute for candy.  Dance to festive music to get a fun cardio workout.

9) Handle and prepare food safely: Protect your family from food-borne illness by having safe cooking practices:  Avoid cross contamination  by keeping raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs away from ready to eat food and eating surfaces.  Wash hands and counters often.  Cook food to the appropriate temperature.

For more family safety tips visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website.

Be well!

Dr. Donna

 

© 2014

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Donna Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP

Chief Wellness Officer at Manifest Excellence
Bestselling author, dynamic holistic wellness speaker and wellness luminary Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD, has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives we’re all meant to lead. Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey.

A wellness thought leader, she champions a comprehensive approach to health by addressing mental, emotional, social, spiritual & physical well-being with a simple and potent message. Her book Wellness Your Way offers a practical strategy to assist readers in creating a happier, healthier life. For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements visit www.ManifestExcellence.com or www.DonnaHamiltonMD.com
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