By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
There have been some great articles written in GCU Today in December about how to survive the Christmas holidays during times of excess food and stress. Here are a few additional tips regarding how to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy during the remainder of the holiday season:
- Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. We are continually told to wash our hands, but how do we really do this? According to the Centers for Disease Control, turn on the water, wet hands, apply soap and then lather your hands -- front and back/between fingers – for at least 20 seconds (the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”). This simple act can prevent colds and the flu.
- Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. Remember, Uber and Lyft are excellent options if you know you will be drinking.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding 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 passengers to do the same.
- Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks and household items out of children’s reach. Do not get distracted, and remember to protect children from drowning, burns, falls and other potential accidents.
- Practice fire safety. Most home fires occur in the winter. Be mindful of fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on the stove, and candles. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
Enjoy this Christmas season. Find time to be with family and friends who will support you, and get plenty of sleep to refresh your body.
GCU Today: Dr. Deb's Mental Health Vitamin: Battling depression during the holidays
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