Staying Healthy Through the New Year

By Alexis Eades
Making snow angels during winter

December is a busy time of year, but you’ll get the most out of it if you make health and safety a priority. Luckily, the CDC has suggested 12 ways to have a healthy holiday season.

12 Suggestions for Winter Safety

  1. Wash Your Hands.

    Washing your hands may seem like a small thing, but it is a major line of defense against germs. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.

  2. Wear Appropriate Clothes.Family enjoying winter weather

    A Norwegian saying is “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” which translates to “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!” If you live in a cold climate, bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.

  3. Manage stress.

    This one is especially important to remember when work gets busy… Give yourself breaks, find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.

  4. Don’t drink and drive…

    …or let others drink and drive. 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December.

  5. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle.The CDC notes to 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. It is law in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and Washington but you should do it regardless of where you live.
  6. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.

    But not just cigarettes. Any repeated exposure to smoke in your lungs can be harmful, even from incense and other substances.

  7. Get exams and screenings.

    Many people start to think about making check-up appointments in the new year. Now is your time to ask your health care provider what exams you need. Get them and update your personal and family history.

  8. Get your vaccinations.

    Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. While you’re at your well-visit, make sure you’re up-to-date on vaccines, such at tetanus which must be repeated every ten years.

  9. Monitor children.

    Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, and other objects out of children’s reach. During the holidays this may mean being careful about where you place candles, what foods and drinks you have in reach-able distance, and what age a new toy is appropriate for.

  10. Practice fire safety.

    Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.

  11. Prepare food safely.

    When preparing food for others and for yourself, to wash your hands and surfaces often. Also, avoid cross-contamination such as a spatula that touched a raw egg touching your ready-to-eat pancakes. Always cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.

  12. Eat healthy, stay active.

    Overall, try to incorporate some fruits and vegetables into your meals. They contain many vitamins and antioxidants that can help lower the risk for certain diseases. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Exercise can boost your immune system and help you avoid getting some of those annoying colds going around.

For more information, and for reference on the CDC’s 12 suggestions, click here.

We want our employees to be safe and healthy, so take care of yourself this December!

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