Holidays the Healthy and Safe Way Holidays the Healthy and Safe Way
Center for Disease Control

The holidays are a time to celebrate, give thanks, and reflect. They are also a time to pay special attention to your health. Give the gift of health and safety to yourself and others by following these holiday tips:

Protect Yourself
Appropriate hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. When you are sick, stay home and avoid close contact with other. Also, get a flu vaccination and if you are 65 years of age or order, make sure you’ve had a pneumococcal vaccination. Wash you hands for 20 seconds, and make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations.

Stay Warm and Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure
What constitutes extreme cold and its effects can vary across the different areas of the country. In regions that may not be accustomed to winter weather, near-freezing temperatures are considered “extreme cold.” Exposure to cold temperatures, whether indoors or outdoors, can cause serious or life-threatening health problems. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected.

To prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, have your heating system, water heater, and other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances services by a qualified technician every year. Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to health problems. Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home and if the detector sounds, leave your home and call 911 immediately

Travel Safely
Whether it’s across town or around the world, take the few extra minutes to make the trip unforgettable—-in a good way. If you are traveling in extreme cold, check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave. Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.

Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 30 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes. Wear seat belts, bundle up and listen for radio or television reports issued by the National Weather Service.

Watch Kids and Their Toys
Toy, holiday decorations, and travel are a few areas to pay special attention to during the holidays—and all year long. Injuries can be prevented if you keep dangerous toys, food, and household items out of reach..

Prevent Injuries
Take precautions to protect yourself from injuries, including those from residential fires and falls when decorating for the holidays. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, and alcohol use contributes to an estimated 40% of residential fire deaths. Cooking is the primary cause of residential fires, and smoking is the leading cause of residential fire-related deaths. The majority of falls are from ladders, roofs, furniture, stairs and porches. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement. Be sure to place a smoke alarm near where people sleep.

Handle and Prepare Food Safely

Many people do not think about food safety until a food-related illness affects them or a family member. The Center for Disease Control says that although the food supply in the United States is one of the safest in the world, it is estimated that 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 Americans die each year from food borne illness. Cook food immediately after defrosting. Do not leave perishable food out for more than two hours.

Eat Healthy, Keep the Stress Down, Relax and Have Fun

During the holiday season, we tend to eat and drink more calories. As you enjoy the holidays, remember to eat in moderation and stay physically active. Breathe and keep a check on anxiety and over commitment. Balance your work, home, personal life and plan ahead. A good idea for a healthy holiday is to have a bowl of fresh fruit out as a substitute for candy and sweets.

You’ve taken steps to make sure that everything and everybody is safe and healthy. Enjoy the holidays and make sure you take time for yourself.