The holidays are a time where we focus on shopping, decorating and visiting friends and family, but we seem to forget about our health.  Give the gift of health this holiday season to yourself and others by following these health and safety tips.

 Family checkups and vaccinations: Exams and screenings can help find potential problems before they start.  Ask what vaccines and tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle and travel plans.     

Keep your hands clean: One of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others is washing your hands.  You should wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. 

Stay warm: Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially for infants and older adults.  Stay dry and dress in several warm layers of loose-fitting clothing.

Stress: Over spending and over committing during the holidays can add to stress levels.  Stress can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Make sure you get proper amounts of sleep and seek support from family and friends to manage stress.

Travel: During the holidays, travel can be dangerous due to the number of drivers on the road.  Never drink and drive and always give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.  Distractions on the road, such as texting and driving, contribute to many accidents on the road as well.  Be an alert driver and never text while operating a vehicle.  Also, make sure children are secured in the proper seats for their age, height and weight. 

Child Safety: Children are at a high risk for injuries.  Always keep an eye on children when they are eating and playing.  Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards and other objects out of their reach. 

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Decorating: Decorating your home for the holidays involves a lot of potential risks for injuries.  Make sure you are using step stools when needed, keep candles away from children and flammable materials and make sure you are using the proper tools and electrical devices.  Never leave fireplaces, stoves or candles unattended and make sure you have fire detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors installed as well.

Food Safety: The holidays involve a lot of dinners and parties, so make sure you are handling food safely.  Cook food to correct temperatures and wash hands and surfaces often.  Try adding some healthy food into your holiday menu as well.

Injuries can occur anywhere and at any time.  Staying safe and healthy this holiday season is something the whole family can take part in together.  At Berger and Green, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Holiday Health and Safety Tips.”  

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