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The 10 Biggest Health Risks Many Face During Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, unfortunately, it is also a time when we hear a number of stories about many people in, or headed to, the ER with some unusual injuries. When it started again this year, we (again) were asking ourselves, "why?". After some research, we've come up with some answers to the increased [unusual] ER visits during the holiday season. So, before you curl up on the couch with a loved one and enjoy your traditional Christmas film, please take a couple minutes to read through these reminders for having a safe and healthy holiday season.


1. Decorating Injuries

Although you (or your kids) may be very excited to put up the Christmas lights, there are many risks that come with that annual job. One of the biggest risks is trying to hang the Christmas lights in hard to reach places on an unsteady ladder.

Tens of thousands of people get injured each year taking on this task. The best way to stay safe is to stabilize a ladder on a flat surface before using, wear sturdy shoes, and decorate before you have too much eggnog.


2. Electric Shocks

In addition to ladder safety, it is important to be careful hanging lights, especially if they are plugged in. Old light sets that have spent several 11-month increments twisted up in storage can become brittle, and the wires may end up exposed. Be careful of any faulty lights that could cause you to get shocked. Faulty lights can also contribute to Christmas tree fires. Also, try not to blow your outlets from plugging in too many things into one!


3. Colds and Contagious Illnesses

Typically around the holidays, we surround ourselves with family, friends, friends of friends, and the list goes on! This year, the pandemic is changing that for us, it is important to be mindful of who you are seeing, continue to consistently wash your hands, and to avoid touching your face. Even if you're staying on the good list and limiting your contact, social distancing, and consistent mask usage can help you avoid infection..


4. Overeating

It’s hard to pass up mom’s signature dish during the holidays, and it seems like we never run out of sweets in December, but be careful. Overindulgence can cause weight gain that may only seem like a couple of pounds in the winter, but that gain could be a trend you don’t want to continue. Obesity comes with a whole new set of health issues. Try to be mindful of how much you are eating and drinking, and try to portion control.


5. Food Poisoning

In addition to overeating, another risk associated with food is food poisoning. Food poisoning can be caused by:

  • Eating food that has sat out long without being refrigerated

  • Food not cooked to a proper temperature

  • Food exposed to cross-contamination

The best way to avoid this is to follow the food safety guidelines outlined by the CDC. Food poisoning can ruin all that fun, even dancing, during the holidays.


6. Anxiety

Anxiety can be a real challenge for many this holiday season, and the source of it can vary from person to person. Some people feel anxious being alone, while others feel anxious being around relatives they don’t see very often. Others simply develop anxiety for shopping or preparing for the season. Not too mention all the money being poured into food, gifts, and all the holiday preparation can cause people a lot of stress.


To help, take time to yourself and start your shopping and cleaning earlier.


7. Deep Cuts

The holidays call for a lot of preparation, and we’ve seen plenty of accidents in the kitchen and around the home related to sharp objects. Lacerations and cuts are a common injury, and they can come from chopping food for dinner, cutting wrapping paper for gifts or picking up broken glass from ornaments and decorations. There is no way to avoid these cuts entirely, but the best way to prevent them is by being careful and slowing down.


8. Smoke Inhalation and Burns

If you think about it, there are many flammable items in your home during the holidays. These items include Christmas trees, burning candles, fireplaces, and even the food in your oven! When lighting, burning or cooking these items, you will want to make sure you keep an eye out for them, and never leave those items unattended. If you are going to tackle deep-frying a turkey over the holidays, take the proper safety precautions such as making sure you have ample space and protective clothing on.


9. Choking

You probably pretty excited about grandma's homemade pie (aren't we all!) but please, slow down when you eat. Don't ruin the meal you've been waiting for all year, avoid overstuffing yourself. Choking on our favorite food is a serious health concern during the holidays.

Another thing to look out for is small toys that your pets and younger children may mistake for food. Watch over your pets and children and make sure that there are no small toys or parts laying around. Speaking of pets, since it’s the season of chocolate, make sure it is kept at a safe distance away from our fur babies..


10. Binge Drinking

The holidays are a time to celebrate, but it doesn’t mean you need to go overboard. Please enjoy alcohol responsibly, and if your celebrations exceed your expectations, take a rideshare home, cozy up on the couch for the night where you’re celebrating, or get a ride from a friend. Or, plan ahead! if you know you're likely to get carried away with the celebration and good drinks, assign a designated driver before you go!


Please remember to stay home and contact your physician if you're feeling sick. We hope that all our customers have a safe and healthy holiday season. Please be mindful that COVID-19 still has a large presence here in SoCal.



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