While the winter holidays are a time of joy and celebration, the season is not without its pitfalls. Increased travel, family gatherings, and holiday decorations and gifts can bring unwanted stress, injury, and illness. Stay safe and healthy this season by following just a few simple precautions.
Millions of Americans will find themselves on the road this December. Whether it’s flying cross-country to see family or driving across town to a holiday party, you’ll want to travel smart. Follow these tips to stay safe and healthy on the go.
- Never drink and drive. Use a designated driver to help guests get home safely after a holiday party.
- Don’t drive distracted. Put the phone away and don’t fiddle with the radio. Your complete attention should be on the road.
- Pack healthy snacks. Whether gearing up for a flight or a road trip, you’re bound to be tempted by fast food and sugary snacks once en route. Keep water, fruit, and veggies handy to stave off hunger.
- Fit in exercise. Go for a short jog at the rest stop or choose to walk to your airline gate. A little activity can go a long way for your health.
- Buckle up. Always ensure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, no matter the distance of the driver.
- Wash your hands often. The Journal of Environmental Health Research found that you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane than during normal daily life. Avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, practice good hand washing, and try not to touch your face.
Decorate and Give Safely
A holiday tradition like hanging string lights might seem harmless, but an estimated 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season. Take preventative measures to avoid unwanted injuries while decorating and gift-giving this season:
- Make sure your tree is stable and away from candles and the fireplace.
- Decorate the tree with children in mind. Keep fragile, breakable ornaments out of reach.
- Ensure there are no exposed wires, excessive kinks, or loose connections in string light decorations.
- Turn off tree lights and decorations when not in use.
- Always use a proper step ladder. Don’t try to stand or balance on furniture while decorating.
- Give safe, age-appropriate gifts. Small children can choke on small or removable parts.
- Avoid toys with button batteries and be aware of their risk.