Tips for a Safe Holiday Season
The snow, the lights, the joyful music! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s also the hardest time of year for many people. The elderly are at a greater risk of falling, children can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite, and people with pre-existing conditions may become even sicker.
Stormont Vail Health has a few tips and tricks to ensure your holiday season is merry and bright!
The weather outside is frightful!
Snow and ice make a scary combination when it comes to falling. However, there are a few things you should do before you rush out to shovel that blanket of white off your walkway!
- Be sure to wear warm clothes, including a coat, gloves, a stocking cap and boots.
- Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Take it slow and take plenty of breaks.
- Stretching before shoveling will help loosen up your muscles and decrease soreness.
- Always read the instruction manual before operating a snow blower, keep hands and feet away from moving parts and never leave it unattended while it is running.
- Know the signs of a heart attack. If you feel you or a loved one is suffering a heart attack, stop immediately and call 911.
But the fire is so delightful.
Let’s take a moment and be thankful that the tradition of lighting candles and hanging them in Christmas trees is no longer around. Even so, fire plays a big role during the holiday season. The crackling yule log in the fireplace. The lighting of the menorah. Practice fire safety by:
- Keeping decorations and flammable items at least 3 feet away from open flame.
- Checking all decorations for worn, frayed or pinched wires. (Additionally, don’t overcrowd outlets!)
- Turning space heaters off when you’re leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Watering Christmas trees daily and discarding them when they are dry and begin dropping needles.
I’ve brought some (high-fructose) corn (syrup) for popping.
We’re filled with joy during the holiday season. Unfortunately, we’re also filled with treats and sweets. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some holiday baked goods, but in moderation. Consider:
- Saving on calories by using healthy substitutions – honey or mashed bananas for sugar, 100% whole wheat flour for white flour, evaporated skim milk for whole milk.
- Leaving something other than cookies for Santa. Carrots and celery sticks are excellent sources of nutrients that will keep Santa (and his reindeer) running all night!
- Staying hydrated. In cold climates, body fluid losses can be as high as those in hot climates. Instead of forcing yourself to gulp down glasses of cold water, you can also drink warm water (plain or infused), homemade smoothies and healthy hot beverages like green tea, cinnamon tea and hot chocolate.
- Portion control. Portion control. Portion control.
Since there’s no place to go
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still recommending staying home this holiday season. We know how difficult this ask is, but you will not only stop the spread, you will save lives. Practice other preventative measures by:
- Wearing a mask
- Washing your hands
- Maintaining 6 feet apart
- Limiting the number of guests
The holiday season can be a stressful time of year. By following these tips, you can ensure it’s also a time of joy and happiness. So, stay safe, turn the lights down low (but not too low!) and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.