Healthy Holiday Tips: 10 Ways to Protect your Family
‘Tis the season to be jolly! Unfortunately, ‘tis also the cold and flu season! That’s why we’ve made a list of 10 healthy holiday tips for a healthier, happier holiday, and we’ve checked it TWICE with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)! (Think of it as our way of being nice, not naughty!)
- Practice fire safety: Long, cold winter nights might mean a crackling fire, candlelight, fresh greenery, and lots of twinkling lights, but they might also mean overworked electric sockets, faulty space heaters, food burning on the stove, and a higher possibility of residential fires. Be sure not to leave burning candles and fireplaces, plugged-in electric blankets and space heaters, and other potentially flammable items unattended. It’s also important to have an emergency fire exit plan in place that your family practices regularly.
- Dress for the weather: Remember when you’d stand still for 20 minutes while your parents wrestled you into a puffy snowsuit and clunky winter boots so you could play in the snow? Well, Mom was right—if it’s cold outside, you don’t want to get frostbite, do you? Stick to light, warm layers and don’t forget your hat, scarf, and gloves.
- Wash your hands: If we’ve learned anything this past year, it’s the vital importance of washing our hands to prevent the spread of bacteria. Now that it’s cold and flu season, be sure not to scrimp on the soap and water. Be sure to wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, covering both sides of your hands up to the wrist with suds (and make sure your kids are doing the same!). Always wash your hands after using the restroom, before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Not near a sink? Nice 'N CLEAN® SANI-HANDS® Antibacterial Hand Wipes kill and remove 99.9% of bacteria on hands—and our wet wipes are more effective than gel sanitizers because they wipe away dirt and grime. Be sure to pop one of our portable, convenient, resealable 20-count packs in your purse or pocket!
- Buckle up: Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or a long road trip, don’t forget to buckle your seat belt every time you’re in a car—and make sure your passengers do, too. Make sure your children are properly buckled using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt based on their height, weight, and age.
- Check on the kids: They’ve been bouncing off the walls with excitement all day, and they’re finally quiet… are they TOO quiet? This holiday, err on the side of caution and check in regularly when they’re in another area of the house to protect them from falls, burns, drowning, and other potential accidents. If you have a Christmas tree that can topple over or is decorated with fragile glass ornaments, consider adding child safety gates around it to prevent little ones from touching it (this can also work for pets!). Also, keep potentially dangerous toys, household items, food and drinks, and other objects out of arm’s reach of young children.
- Don’t drink and drive: Drinking while drunk is dangerous not only to yourself, but to everyone else on the road. In addition to being against the law, drunk driving significantly increases your risk of being in an accident, which can cause injury to yourself or to others. Call an Uber or Lyft, call a friend, use a designated driver—just don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had any alcoholic beverages. Also important: don’t let others drink and drive. Take away their keys if necessary.
- Prepare food safely: The holidays go hand-in-hand with all our favorite foods, but be sure they don’t also come with a side of food poisoning! Cook foods to their proper temperatures, refrigerate leftovers promptly, and wash hands and surfaces often. One great way to clean your kitchen surfaces and avoid cross-contamination is by using cleaning and disinfecting wipes that are EPA-registered and can clean, deodorize, sanitize, and disinfect. Make sure to rinse any food contact surfaces with potable water after use. Look for new Nice ’N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes coming to a store near you soon.
- Get vaccinated: According to the CDC, everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. It’s also a good idea to check with your healthcare professional about any booster shots, vaccines, exams, and screenings you and your family members are due for, so you can start the New Year off right.
- Eat a healthy diet and get regular physical activity: The holidays are hard when it comes to keeping up with our health and fitness goals. In addition to many tempting holiday treats, it’s also harder to stay active when the weather is frightful and you are cooped up inside your home. Try to cook healthy meals with a variety of vegetables as much as you can. When indulging in your favorite treats, limit portion sizes when it comes to foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Make sure to get fresh air and sunlight every day (even a 5-minute walk around the block can do wonders for your mood and health). Aim for at least two and a half hours a week of physical activity, and encourage your kids to be active at least one hour a day. Holiday dance party, anyone?
- Manage stress: The holidays may be the best time of the year for some, but for others, they may bring on stress, anxiety, and depression. Learn to recognize holiday triggers such as financial pressures or overloading on personal demands so you can minimize them before they lead to a meltdown. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, or out of control. Spending just 15 minutes alone without distractions may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Other ways to manage stress are to get sufficient rest, eat healthy meals, and find support from friends and loved ones or seek help from professionals.
This holiday season is more challenging than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Give yourself and your family grace and patience as we all do our best to navigate a busy and stressful time of the year.