Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s the holidays, I don’t have time to get sick.” Of course, you do not have time to get sick during the holidays. There’s too much fun to be had and too many things to do! It might seem that everyone around you is sick—at work, at the mall, at school. Injuries also happen during the holidays. Unfortunate slips, falls, burns, food poisonings – things that can ruin a happy occasion. How do you avoid getting sick or injured?
Here are our top five ways:
- Wash your hands. First and foremost, and you’ve heard it many times before, wash your hands! You can’t be too careful. Wash them after using the restroom or being in public areas like subways, airports and train stations. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Click here for instructions on proper handwashing. Hand sanitizer will do in a pinch if there’s no sink in sight. Spread joy, not germs!
- Get your flu shot. It’s important. This is the best way to stop the spread of the influenza virus this holiday season. It’s especially important if you are elderly or have a compromised immune system. You might also talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the pneumonia vaccine.
- Practice safe food preparation. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you might get busy and skimp on safe food preparation. Be sure to take the proper precautions and spend the time you need. Make sure you don’t handle raw meats and veggies and fruits on the same surfaces; this could contaminate food and lead to food poisoning. Be sure to wash all vegetables and fruits before you eat them and make sure you properly refrigerate leftover meals. Cook your turkey all the way through. Use this guide from osfhealthcare.org to help avoid food poisoning.
- Avoid burns. When cooking this holiday, especially if you plan on frying a turkey, use extra precaution around hot oil and/or open flames. A frozen turkey submerged in hot oil is a NO NO! Each year, people are rushed to the ER with 2nd and 3rd degree burns because of this. Always defrost your turkey first. If grilling, make sure you have adequate heat-safe gloves. Never use regular gloves, synthetic, polyester or have that type of clothing hanging over the grill or stove. They can melt and/or heat up and catch fire quickly.
- Relax. Stress always increases during the holiday season. Over time, prolonged stress can greatly impact your immune system and you’ll be much more susceptible to illness. Unwind and find ways to remove yourself from stressful holiday situations. You and family time come first. Your body will thank you, and you’ll stay well.
Try these top five tips this holiday season and you will have a happy and healthy holiday!
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