Staying Safe and Healthy for a Happy Holiday Season

By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate

The holiday season is well upon us. While it is often referred to as the “most wonderful time of the year,” it can be a risky time as well, especially as the world marks another holiday season inside the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the global threat of COVID, the holidays often brought many unwelcomed visitors like stress, depression and various illnesses.

The good news is that there are ways to brighten up your holidays by making your health and safety a top priority. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares 12 ways to enjoy a healthy holiday season:

  1. Wash hands frequently to stop the spread of germs. Wash with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing. Depending on where you live dress in light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
  3. Manage stress. If is not uncommon to feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress include connecting socially and getting a good night’s sleep.
  4. Don’t drink and drive. Drinking and driving endangers everyone on the road. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
  5. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use. Nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
  6. Fasten seat belts while in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage all passengers to do the same.
  7. Regular exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
  8. Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. The CDC recommend all adults should receive the booster shot after six months of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  9. Monitor the children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
  10. Don’t forget fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves or candles unattended.
  11. Prioritize food safely. Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
  12. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Cut down on your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least one hour daily.

If you are interested in improving your health during the holidays or any time of year, reach out to your Legacy Community Health provider to schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Log on to our website or call 832-548-5000 for more information.