Tips on Staying Safe This Holiday Season

The Holiday season is here again. The most exciting time of the year with colourful decorations and family gatherings. It is usually characterized by its pomp and pageantry. A lot of hustles and bustles go on at this time. You want to get the perfect Christmas tree, pick the appropriate gifts and wrap them, address the cards and have them delivered. Not only that, you want to shop for the perfect Christmas outfits for the kids and get the perfect dinnerware for guests coming over. Lots of shopping for the festivities and that seems like a lot of chaos you would say.

However, in the midst of all the good feelings and joy, do not be so carried away as to neglect yourself and your health at large. As it is so easy to simply let yourself go. Less time in the gym, more time shopping in the mall. Since it seems as if everyone is on the move, people are more impatient, people tend to take more risks than they would at any other time of the year.There is need to bring to mind the need for holiday safety awareness.

Below is a staggering statistics about fire and injury occuring during the holidays:

According to reports from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), there is an increase in overall incidence of fires caused by heating, cooking and open flame especially in the winter holiday period. During 2004-2008, an average of 260 home fires each year started with Christmas Trees. Another 150 home fires were caused by decorative lights and holiday lights. Incidence of fires caused by cooking, heating, and open flame all increase during the winter holiday period. 

Fire is not the only source of concern at this time, falls resulting in serious injury are also a source of concern. People tend to fall while decorating their trees or house or trip over extension cords.  About 5,800 individuals are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained from falls involving holiday decorations.

In order to avoid unpleasant situations which spoil things at this time, the following are some crucial tips to avoid holiday accidents and stay safe and healthy :

1) Do not put up decorations alone,especially if you are older. If you need to climb a ladder, ensure someone is standing at the base securing it while you work.

2) Ensure before going to bed disconnect the plug to the Christmas tree. You can always put it on again when you wake up.

3) When driving always wear your seat belt and for people with children , make sure they are in their car seats well fastened and secured.

4) Make sure the car is "winter-proof". Get the proper set of tyres for the car and all.These will ensure safe driving in bad weather.

5) Do not drink and drive.If you must drink, do not drive and if you must drive, do not drink.

6) Do not joke with your sleep. Avoid binge watching of movies you have not been chanced to watch earlier in the year, when you should be sleeping. Lack of sleep makes you even more stressed. Most people need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

7) Prioritize and organize your holiday to-do list. Do not leave things to be done at the very last minute.

8) Eat healthy. No junk foods. Limit the intake of Christmas cookies, cakes and all the other good stuff. In spite of the temptation,do not overeat.Do not SKIP the gym. Stay physically active.

9) Cut down or avoid alcohol intake. People tend to consume more alcohol during the holidays compared to the rest of the year and blame it on all the parties and festivities going on.

10) Just enjoy the season, relax and stay stress-free.

So as we all plan to get into the full swing and spirit of the season, let us not throw caution to the wind. Remain healthy and stay safe.

"The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us."
                                           -Terry Marshall.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Funmi


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