Everyone looks forward to the holidays, since they involve celebrating
the spiritual significance of the occasions as well as cherishing time
with family and friends. However, activities associated with this time
of year present various risks to health and property. Here are some
safety tips to help prevent unpleasant things from putting a damper on your festivities.
1. Manage Stress
The hustle and bustle of holiday pursuits, such as decorating, shopping
and partying, can take a toll. Pace yourself and take breaks when you
feel anxiety mounting. Get enough sleep at night, so you'll have the
energy you need for this busy time. Consider this
research as a cautionary tale:
"In laboratory settings, researchers can zero in on particular stressors
and their effects on health measures, such as how well the immune system
responds to injury. In 2005, Kiecolt-Glaser and her microbiologist husband
Ronald Glaser enlisted 42 healthy couples to test how interpersonal stress
might affect wound healing. On two separate occasions, the couples came
to a clinic in the morning, ate breakfast, gave a blood sample and endured
some mild discomfort as a nurse used a medical device to raise a small
suction blister wound on one arm. Next the couples underwent either positive
social support counseling about their marriage or, at a separate visit,
were led into a discussion of their marital disagreements.
The scientists checked the wounds in the following days. Couples healed
in a median of five days after friendly counseling but took six days after
a session about marital conflicts. When the conflict sessions were split
into couples who got confrontational versus those who were more easygoing,
the hostile couples took a median of two days longer to heal, the researchers
reported in JAMA Psychiatry."
2. Prevent Fires
Sadly, every year fires destroy people's homes because of holiday-related
hazards. Place candles away from curtains and trees, and if you have pets
or children, you may want to avoid them altogether. Keep real Christmas
trees watered, check strings of lights for frayed wires and never leave
a fireplace unattended. Install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in
3. Avoid Injuries When Decorating
Instead of standing on furniture to put up decorations, use a step stool
or ladder. The
National Safety Council recommends using a ladder model with slip-resistant feet and wearing slip-resistant
shoes when climbing on one.
4. Ensure Food Safety
Thaw food in the refrigerator, and use a thermometer to ensure you cook
meat to the proper temperature. Don't leave perishable items unrefrigerated
for more than two hours.
5. Never Drink and Drive
Even one alcoholic beverage can impair driving ability. To be sure you
get home safely after a night out on the town, have a designated driver
along who will abstain from liquor.
6. Prevent the Spread of Germs
No one wants to spend the holidays nursing a cold, so take measures to
minimize the spread of germs. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue
when you sneeze or cough. Wash your hands with soap and running water.
7. Prepare Your Vehicle for Emergencies
Amid the season of ice and snow, you never know when the elements could
leave you stranded. Keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle that includes
water and nonperishable food as well as first aid supplies, blankets and
a battery-powered radio.
You might also want to brush up onTips to Protect Yourself Against Extreme Cold.
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