Stay healthy and safe this holiday season

Avoid these holiday health hazards

Contributed by Shazia Chaudhry, MD

hanging holiday lightsThe holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family, give thanks, and reflect. The last thing you want is to experience an illness or injury that sidelines you from the fun. But with the season come a number of health and safety risks. So, I made a list—of holiday health and wellness tips—and checked it twice, just to make sure your holidays are healthy and nice.

Tips for a silent night without pain
For some, the holidays can be a real pain in the neck – among other things. But it doesn’t have to be. If holiday gift shopping finds you standing in long lines, be sure to rotate you ankles clockwise and counter clockwise and alternate between pointing and flexing your toes. This keeps your blood flowing and prevents your legs and feet from swelling. When carrying packages, try carrying even weight on both sides of your body to prevent muscle strain.

Decking the halls without traumatic falls
Nearly six thousand people end up in emergencies rooms due to decorating-related falls. Most often, these people have fallen off ladders while hanging lights outside or ornaments on trees. When using a ladder, please be sure it’s positioned properly on flat ground and that the rungs are dry. Also, if you find yourself reaching, then it’s time to come down and reposition the ladder.

I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
And then she came down with the flu. I know this is going to sound “Grinchy,” but if your standard holiday hello is a big kiss and a hug, consider a smile and cheerful greeting instead.

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
But that doesn’t mean you should eat everything you see. It’s possible to enjoy the holidays without an upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation. My best advice is to avoid large portions, take it easy on rich foods, stay hydrated and be sure to get enough fiber.

Don’t drink and drive
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) two to three times more people die from alcohol-related crashes during the holidays. If you’re planning on making merry this holiday season, please be sure to make arrangements in advance so that you can get home safely.

Have a happy and healthy holiday!

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