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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Taking Care of Your Health This Holiday Season

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Many people are taking precautions to protect their health from COVID-19. Holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, whether it’s in-person, on the phone or virtually. Celebrate life, take time to be grateful, and reflect on what’s important. This is also a great time to appreciate the gift of health.
The Marion County Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some tips for a healthy and safe holiday season.
Mask up. Lather up. Sleeve up. When outside the home, wear a proper mask that covers the nose and mouth. Keep hands clean by washing hands with soap and clean running water, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds. Or, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Everyone should also get a flu shot to receive the important protection it offers.
Handle and prepare food safely. While preparing holiday meals, stay safe from food-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces.
Cook foods to the proper temperature and refrigerate promptly after eating. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
Manage stress. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on a person’s health and pocketbook. Keep commitments and spending in-check. Balance work, home and play. Find support from family and friends and keep a relaxed and positive outlook. And, get plenty of sleep.
Travel safely. Whether a trip is across town or across the county, don’t drink and drive. And keep others from driving under the influence. Wear a seat belt at all times in the car and always buckle a child into an approved child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt appropriate to their age, height and weight.
Watch the kids. Keep a watchful eye on younger kids as they eat and play. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and choking hazards (such as coins and hard candy), and out of their reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking. Make sure toys are used properly, and develop rules about acceptable and safe behaviors for electronic media.
Prevent injuries. Injuries often occur around the holidays. Use step stools instead of climbing on furniture when hanging decorations. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves or candles unattended.
Generators, grills or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning devices should not be used inside the home or garage. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector as in the home according to recommendations. Test them once a month and replace batteries twice a year.
Eat healthy, and be active. With balance and moderation, everyone can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Limit the intake of fats, salt and sugary foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2.5 hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least one hour a day.
For more tips on staying healthy this holiday season, visit CDC.gov.

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