The most wonderful time of the year is often the busiest time, as well! During the holiday season, it’s easy to get lost in the planning, preparation and celebration. Even as things get busy, it’s important to try to make safe, healthy choices as you and your family do your favorite things. Here are some tips for staying safe and healthy during this festive time.
Pay close attention to what’s happening in the kitchen
Many of the accidents that happen during the holidays happen in the kitchen. When cooking, people can easily cut themselves, splash themselves with hot oil, burn themselves on the stove and more. To prevent this, keep your kitchen as organized as possible, with sharp objects and cooking implements in safe places—especially when kids are around. If you’re doing food preparation in the kitchen, stay in the kitchen to monitor the progress, or at least check in every few minutes if you need to go to another room. Additionally, to keep yourself and your family from getting sick, be careful to avoid cross-contamination of food when cooking, especially when handling raw meats and other items more likely to carry bacteria, and make sure to cook all food to proper temperatures and quickly refrigerate leftovers.
Electrical and fire safety
The holiday season is a prime time for electrical accidents and fires. Inspect light-up decorations to ensure they’re undamaged, and make a routine of turning them off when they’re not in use. Make sure your oven and stove are cleaned off and turned off when not in use so you aren’t surprised by a kitchen fire. If you light candles or use your fireplace, make sure the flames are properly out before going to bed at night. Also, if you have a live tree in your house, keep it well-watered and a good distance away from electrical wires and devices, as a dry tree can be a fire hazard.
This time of year is great for celebrating with some wine, eggnog or bubbly beverage, but remember to drink in moderation, especially if you’re driving. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and response time, which can lead to accidents. Also, when opening a bottle with a cork, remember to point the cork away from other people. The pressure in a bottle of alcohol can cause a cork to pop off at speeds of up to 60 mph, which can cause serious bodily harm.
Keep child safety in mind
Small children and toddlers are especially at risk of injury during the holidays if their environment is unsafe. For this reason, it’s a good idea to teach them safety rules if they’re old enough to understand, and keep them out of the kitchen unless they’re being supervised in a designated area or cooking role. But child safety doesn’t end there. Be mindful when giving gifts. Make sure that the toys you buy have safety certification labels on them and keep an eye out for toy recalls. Also, if they receive bicycles or sports-related equipment, make sure to include helmets and other safety equipment with the gift.
The holidays are often a trying time for mental and behavioral health conditions, so find a way to prepare yourself for the stressors and triggers that you may experience. Getting ahead of these conditions and making a plan to manage them will empower you to experience the season in a healthy way.
Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean can go a long way towards preventing the spread of disease, especially during a time when people often gather together in close proximity to one another. Proper handwashing involves scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and should be done regularly (i.e. before and after meals, before and after cooking, after handling decorations and cleaning your home). This simple task can make all the difference in your and your family’s health.
Keep Gathering Numbers Limited
It’s important this year to keep a close eye on the number of people you’re celebrating the holidays with. Large gatherings are currently discouraged as a result of the ongoing pandemic, and in order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, it’s best to only physically connect with a limited number of people. If you do meet with a large number of people, make sure they are family members or close friends who are healthy and not medically at risk. And no matter how you choose to celebrate, educate yourself on proper sanitizing techniques and face covering. To stay connected with your loved ones from a distance, set up a holiday celebration over video chat!
We’re here for you as you navigate the finale of this year. If you have any questions or need to discuss family health matters leading into this season, don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you safe and happy celebrations this month. Happy Holidays!