The holidays are a time for family, fun, and being festive. This holiday season do what you can to ensure your holiday is remembered for all the right reasons – and make your health, and the health of your loved ones, a priority. Following these 12 simple tips will help you keep your holidays happy and healthy.
Wash hands often. Washing hands often will help prevent the spread of germs. After all, it is flu season. Wash your hands with soap and warm, clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
Dress warm (and stay dry). When you’re heading outside, dress appropriately. If it’s cold, that means light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and even waterproof boots.
Manage stress. Holiday shopping has a tendency to cause stress. If you feel stressed out or overwhelmed, take a break and give yourself some time to re-set and calm the nerves. If you are feeling stressed, talk to someone about it, be social, and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.
Don’t drink and drive (and don’t let others drink and drive). Whenever anyone drives drunk, everyone on the road is put in danger. Call a cab or Uber, or if you know you are going to be drinking, designate a driver.
Fasten your seat belt. Whenever you’re in a vehicle, be sure to buckle up. Are children in the vehicle? Be certain they are buckled up as well (and use a car seat or booster seat according to their height, weight, and age.) Regardless of how short the trip might be, everyone in the vehicle should be wearing a seat belt and properly restrained.
Don’t smoke. Smoke? Then quit. Don’t smoke? Do your best to avoid any secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers are also at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It causes harm to nearly every organ of the body. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help to kick the habit. This is a FREE resource.
Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
Stay vaccinated. Make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year.
To reduce wait time, appointments are recommended by calling 865-215-5070. Clinics are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Monitor children. Make sure that potentially harmful toys, food, drinks, household items and other objects are out of a child’s reach. Always keep a watchful eye on children to protect them from drowning, burns, falls or other potential accidents.
Practice fire safety. Most residential fires take place during the winter months. So be sure that fireplaces, space heaters, any food being cooked on stoves, or candles aren’t left unattended. Make sure you have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
Prepare food safely. Don’t let a holiday dinner be ruined because a foodborne illness led to a trip to the hospital. Remember these simple tips: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
Eat healthy, stay active. The holidays are often a time to bake cookies and other delicious sweet treats. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy desserts, but do so in moderation. And don’t forget about nutritious foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Be active for at least 2 ½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least one hour a day.
- Holiday Health and Safety Tips
- Mall Walking this Winter
- Twelve Holiday Health and Safety Tips Podcast (2007) [PODCAST – 3:40 minutes]
- Holiday Food Safety During Pregnancy
- Gather and Share Your Family Health History
- Get Your Flu Vaccine: Stay Healthy This Flu Season!
- Managing Diabetes During the Holidays
- Pregnancy and Flu
- Go Green for the Holidays
- Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter
- Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys