As the holidays approach, take action to keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and ready to enjoy the season.
1. Wash your hands often.
Flu season is in full swing, but washing hands regularly with water and soap can prevent festive family gatherings from turning into germ fests. Be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (never your hands) when you sneeze or cough.
2. Bundle up to stay dry and warm.
The weather outside may be chilly, but you don’t have to be! Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
3. Manage stress.
Don’t overcommit yourself! Prevent holiday anxiety and pressure by getting enough sleep, making time to relax, and keeping your spending in check.
4. Don’t drink and drive.
or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger.
5. Monitor children.
Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of kids’ reach. Develop and reinforce rules about acceptable and safe behaviors including electronic media.
6. Practice fire safety.
Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Be careful to never leave your toasty fireplaces, space heaters, stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan in the case of a fire and practice it regularly.
7. Prepare food safely.
Germs are everywhere! Remember these simple steps to prevent food-related illness: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate promptly.
To learn more about important health issues facing Eau Claire County, visit echealthycommunities.org.
Gina Schemenauer is a Community Health Educator at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. When not at work, she keeps busy with her two young kiddos!